Important Skyland UMC News

Hello,

As Staff Parish Committee Chair, I would like to share an important Skyland UMC announcement.

Keith, our brother in Christ, amazing friend and spiritual leader, has been called upon to transition to a different Church that is currently in need of his incredible talents.  This transition will officially take place the first weekend in July, at which time we will be welcoming our new pastor, the Rev. Wesley Sharpe, to Skyland.

The consideration of change in pastors is a process that the Methodist church undertakes every year, and this year it is important to note that across our district alone, there were nearly 180 pastors eligible for retirement and over 60 this year decided to in fact retire – meaning there are many other churches across the district going through similar unexpected changes today.

I believe we can all agree that Skyland is sitting on an incredibly strong foundation and can give praise to the Lord for this foundation.  As Mother Theresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”  Is there really any greater way that we can articulate exactly what it is that Keith and his family have done for Skyland – Keith and his family have truly caste a stone, with ripples that will live on for years beyond their time here with us.

Processing this change will be difficult for us all. As this news settles in with you over the coming days and weeks, please reach out to anyone of us on Staff Parish Committee, if we can be of help.  Your SPC include TJ Knapp, Erin Brady, Diane Rutledge, Sandy Fredrick, Phil Blythe, Carol Mosely, Patty Olbrantz, and Jeff Lovette.  I am sure you can realize that this is having an incredible impact and taking its own toll on Keith and his family.  We ask that you please keep Keith, Chan, Ross, Clair, Joey and Ben in your prayers as they embrace this change and plan for the transition.  Our staff is also working through this change.  Please also keep Joy, Lance, Linda, Jennifer, Pat, Terri and the entire staff close in your prayers these coming weeks.  They are our foundation, and we have all the confidence in the world in each and every one of them, though they too must process this change as we all do too.

I leave you with one last verse that I have relied on at times of change and uncertainty in my life, Jeremiah 29:11,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Sincerely,

Jonathan Bailey
Staff Parish Committee Chair