Just what is religion?

Folks, my mother had her last round of chemotherapy last week! The last five months have been like a roller coaster for her and for the family. Many of you have followed her journey on social media and continue to pray for her. I cannot express how much your thoughtfulness means to her and to our family. Soon, she will go for a PET scan and plan for the mastectomy. I have seen such strength from her. My eyes have been more fully opened to what people with cancer experience.

***

I am a couple weeks behind in posting this blog. I wrote it and forgot to post it.

When I am out and about people ask, “how are you doing?” I am physically fine. The baby is doing fine. Dustin received a promotion at his job. We are doing alright and planning is underway to get the nursery room ready. Our schedules are busy. We have upcoming church events and community events to help plan.

Although, some days are rougher than others. I do want to mention that I have been learning to let go of worry. We are supposed to turn our worry over to the Lord. When I worried about how my mom’s body would react to chemo or when I worry about other things currently going on in the family… I’ve been trying to remind myself to stop and pray. I pray so often throughout the day. I remember when I use to only pray before bedtime. Now, I pray all day long and it’s like second nature. I talk to God. I have a friendship with him.

***

I saw something on Facebook last week that was interesting. A post that read, “Religion is for people who fear Hell, spirituality is for people who have been there.” This quote made me think. So, what is religion? According to dictionary.com, religion is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”

My next question, why do people believe in God? Hopefully, someone in your family or along the way has taught you about who God is. I think that in many cases when children grow older, they either look more into religion for themselves, turn away from the faith or they follow a “I believe in God life but they do not live a Christian life, we see many who may not understand that just saying that you believe in God will not get one into Heaven.” One must ask God for forgiveness of sin and try to live a narrow life and try not to repeat those sins again. Nobody said this life would be easy. You and me, we are fallen, we are sinners. Even after we are forgiven, even after we are baptized, we are still sinners and we will sin until our Earthly death. Christianity is not a “religion” it is a relationship.

But when we choose to take that next step and lead a life following Christ, many new doors open and I can tell you this first hand, they do. Now, living a Christian life is not easy. As always, people are quick to judge us (for some reason some folks cannot wrap their head around the fact that church people sin too and it is ok). Some church people are hypocrites. The same people who say these things, should humbly look at their own life and ask, “am I perfect?”

You know the old saying, “one bad apple ruins the bunch?” We all should know by now there’s more to it than that. Don’t look at the one bad apple. That bad apple needs Jesus too. Maybe that bad apple got drunk Saturday and is sitting in the pew on Sunday, shame on the church goer who judges them and shame on the non-church goer who judges them. I rejoice to know that they made it. Maybe another bad apple lives a life sexual immorality, but unfortunately that is becoming so accepted in our society today. But when this person shows up to a church on Sunday, we should rejoice! A decision was still made to go to church that day.

Church has a stigma with it. I hope to see that stigma broken! So, what if you drink, so what if you live together and are not married, so what if you have not reconciled with someone, so what if you cuss like a sailor, so what if you are a gossip, Jesus is your friend. Find him.

I want to leave you with this. For Lent, I am reading the gospels in the New Testament. The gospels are the accounts of Jesus’ life written by his apostles. The apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. No two stories are told in the exact same way. They used their own words to tell of the miracles of Jesus and his death. We can think about it this way. Let’s say you are a witness out of four witnesses to see a crime. No two of your witness statements would be written the exact same word for word… yet the same story would be told about said crime. Well, think of the gospels this way. Scholars have used these accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to follow the life of Jesus. Netflix has the episodes of the gospels, word-for-word that you can watch or listen to (if you are not a big proponent of reading).

I want end with this scripture from Mark 2:15:

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 To break this down quickly, Levi (also known as Matthew) was a tax collector. As Jesus passed by the tax collectors, He told Levi to follow him and Levi instantly got up and followed Him. Later, Jesus dined at Levi’s home with others in attendance who were all sinners along with his disciples. The Pharisees (who were interpreters of religious law) and they clashed with Jesus. They of course thought that Jesus blasphemed God but Jesus was the indeed the Messiah, the son of God, He is the savior of mankind. My point here that I want to emphasize is the last line in the scripture above. Jesus said, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus dined with drunk folk and sinners and THESE are the ones who he most wanted to spend time with and teach. I want to see this stigma associated with church broken. Jesus wants all to come through his door. I’ve heard people say that if they stepped foot in church then it would fall down. People make excuses, plain and simple. Jesus wants you and your past. He will wash your past away. Do you think that your past is hidden just because you do not go to church? God sees all, he already knows what you do in your home, and He does not need you step foot into his church for it to fall down around you. He wants to heal you. He wants each and every one of us to look at our lives. What is going wrong in our lives (maybe that metaphorically is the “church that is falling down around us”). I know that there are areas that I need to work on. I have come a long way in the last two years of devoting my life to Christ.

I want to close in prayer:

Dear Lord, we thank you today for this day your have made and we are here to live in it. We thank you for all that we have because in countries around the world people are suffering in ways that we cannot imagine. I am thankful to live in America. I pray for those who are hungry, those who face persecution for you, those who live a life of evil doing, I pray for peace in this world. I pray for people who are fighting illness, disease, and cancers. Please bring healing to their lives. I pray that folks will turn their lives over to you so that you many work in their lives. You are good. We pray for those who are lost, may this be the day they find you. In your holy name, Savior Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Written by:  Cassandra Freshour

 

Updates and heavy questions

Quickly following up from last week, I wrote about a family friend (Rick) who was admitted to the hospital. Rick is still on a ventilator, he still fights his restraints when he wakes up from being sedated and they are still going to keep him sedated until a specialist is able to see him this week. The nurse said that he has made some improvements but they are planning to remove the ventilator on Tuesday to see how he responds.

***

Folks, my mother has one more round of chemotherapy to go! The last five months have been like a roller coaster for her and for the family. Many of you have followed her journey on social media and continue to pray for her. I cannot express how much your thoughtfulness means to her and to our family. Thank you!

***

When I am out and about people ask, “how are you doing?” I am physically fine. The baby is doing fine. Dustin just received a promotion at his job. We are doing alright and planning is underway to get the nursery room ready. Our schedules are busy. Now that we are close to Spring, I will be getting back outside to do more outdoor photography. We have upcoming church events and community events to help plan. We are getting ready to begin a new youth bible study program. That is just a glimpse. 😉

Mentally though, some days are rougher than others. I do want to mention that I have been learning to let go of worry. We are supposed to turn our worry over to the Lord. When I worry about how my mom’s body will react to chemo or when I worry about other things currently going on in the family… I’ve been trying to remind myself to stop and just pray. I pray so often throughout the day. I remember when I use to only pray before bedtime. Now I pray all day long and it’s like second nature. I talk to God. I have a friendship with him.

***

I saw something on Facebook this week that was interesting. A post that read, “Religion is for people who fear Hell, spirituality is for people who have been there.” This quote made me think. So, what is religion? According to dictionary.com, religion is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”

My next question, why do people believe in God? Hopefully, someone in your family has taught you about God. I think that in many cases when children grow older, they either look more into religion for themselves, they follow a “I believe in God life but they do not live a Christian life, we see many who may not understand that just saying that you believe in God will not get one into Heaven.” One must ask God for forgiveness of sin and try to live a narrow life and try not to repeat those sins again. You and me, we are fallen, we are sinners. Even after we are forgiven, even after we are baptized, we are still sinners and we will sin until our Earthly death.

But when we choose to take that next step and lead a life following Christ, many new doors open and I can tell you this first hand, they do. Now, living a Christian life is not easy. As always, people are quick to judge us (for some reason some folks cannot wrap their head around the fact that church people sin too and it is ok). Some church people are hypocrites. The same people who say these things, should humbly look at their own life and ask, “am I perfect?”

You know the old saying, “one bad apple ruins the bunch?” We all should know by now there’s more to it than that. Don’t look at the one bad apple. That bad apple needs Jesus too. Maybe that bad apple got drunk Saturday and is sitting in the pew on Sunday, shame on the church goer who judges them and shame on the non-church goer who judges them. I rejoice to know that they made it. Maybe another bad apple fornicates (yes I went there) but unfortunately that is becoming so accepted in our society today. What will be left untouched for their future spouse when these things have already been experienced. But when this person shows up to a church on Sunday, we should rejoice! A decision was still made to go to church that day.

Church has a stigma with it. I hope to see that stigma broken!

So what if you drink, so what if you live together and are not married, so what if you have not reconciled with someone, so what if you cuss like a sailor, so what if you are a gossip, Jesus is your friend. Find him.

I want to leave you with this. For Lent, I am reading the gospels in the New Testament. The gospels are the accounts of Jesus’ life written by his apostles. The apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. No two stories are told in the exact same way. They used their own words to tell of the miracles of Jesus and his death. We can think about it this way. Let’s say you are a witness out of four witnesses to see a crime. No two of your witness statements would be written the exact same word for word… yet the same story would be told about said crime. Well, think of the gospels this way. Scholars have used these accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to follow the life of Jesus. Netflix has the episodes of the gospels, word-for-word that you can watch or listen to (if you are not a big proponent of reading).

I want end with this scripture from Mark 2:15:

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 To break this down quickly, Levi (also known as Matthew) was a tax collector. As Jesus passed by the tax collectors, He told Levi to follow him and Levi instantly got up and followed Him. Later, Jesus dined at Levi’s home with others in attendance who were all sinners along with his disciples. The Pharisees (were interpreters of religious law) and they clashed with Jesus. They of course thought that Jesus blasphemed God but Jesus was the indeed the Messiah, the son of God, He is the savior of mankind. My point here that I want to emphasize is the last line in the scripture above. Jesus said, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus dined with drunkards and sinners and THESE are the ones who he most wanted to spend time with and teach. I want to see this stigma associated with church broken. Jesus wants all to come through his door. I’ve heard people say that if they stepped foot in church then it would fall down. People make excuses, plain and simple. Jesus wants you and your past. He will wash your past away. Do you think that your past is hidden just because you do not go to church? God sees all, he already knows what you do in your home, and He does not need you step foot into his church for it to fall down around you. He wants to heal you. He wants each and every one of us to look at our lives. What is going wrong in our lives (maybe that metaphorically is the “church that is falling down around us”). I know that there are areas that I need to work on. I have come a long way in the last two years of devoting my life to Christ.

I want to close in prayer:

Dear Lord, we thank you today for this day your have made and we are here to live in it. We thank you for all that we have because in countries around the world people are suffering in ways that we cannot imagine. I am thankful to live in America. I pray for those who are hungry, those who face persecution for you, those who live a life of evil doing, I pray for peace in this world. I pray for people who are fighting illness, disease, and cancers. Please bring healing to their lives. I pray that folks will turn their lives over to you so that you many work in their lives. You are good. We pray for those who are lost, may this be the day they find you. In your holy name, Savior Jesus, we pray, Amen.

 

Written by: Cassandra Freshour

Look for a new blog next week!

Finding my place and thinking about Matthew 25:40

There is a man who has lived with my grandmother for the last 11 years. While he has gotten on my nerves from the things he says and does at times (because he is a joker) he has always been good to my family. He has attended many of our family parties over the years. I know that he does not have much family around and so he has become part of ours.

I do not consider myself close to him. To me… he is just, Rick. Well, Rick was doing fine and one day he started having a nosebleed. My grandma said that she would call for an ambulance and he said “no”. As the night progressed, he started to cough up blood and grandma called an ambulance for him. Rick was transported to a local hospital where they wanted to transport him on to a larger hospital in the area. There weren’t any open beds open at the larger hospital. The next day, Rick was able to be transported.

I went with my aunt and cousin to see him today. When we arrived, we saw him struggling with the nurses as he was fighting the ventilator and before they sedated him, he saw us. Soon, he was asleep and the nurse talked with us. The nurse did not have much information to give us at this time. They are waiting for him to stabilize before they can run tests.

During this time, my faith has been put to the test. I am not close to this person and yet I am. I have asked for prayer for him on social media and prayed over him silently in the hospital room. This scripture kept coming to my mind throughout the day:

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, 45, NIV)

Even though I am not a blood relative or consider myself very close to him, I care and I will visit with him because I serve a God that cares. Because I love Jesus and follow Him, I will go. I hope that comfort will be brought to him by familiar faces. My aunt talked to him before he was sedated. He was unable to speak due to the ventilator.

I often wonder where my ministry lies. Does it solely lie in helping our youth in the church? My husband started volunteering over two years ago with the youth group and I followed. I take on the local relay for life and this will be the second year in organizing a team. I have taken lead in this ministry blog. Although, when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I stopped writing as much. I haven’t posted a new blog since November. For this season of Lent, I want to get back on track and blog more often. Writing is my ministry. I may not always have proper grammar but that is okay by me.

I keep wondering though… is there a totally different ministry out there that I should be taking part in?

I leave you with this prayer. Heavenly Father, we pray over all of those who are battling cancer and other illnesses. Please lift up their spirits and fill them with your almighty love. Bring your healing touch on their lives. We pray over those who are seeking their place in this world and those who would like to further your kingdom. All of these things we pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior, Amen.

Written by: Cassandra Freshour

 

Rick

 

Cameras, Cancer and a Cause

            You may have noticed that it has been quite some time since our last blog post. A lot has happened since August. For one, I resigned my job from the insurance agency and went full time with the photography business. As of October 1, 2018, I started a new adventure but God has used me in an additional way that was not foreseen. You see, my mom went to the ER midway through October for chest pain. Blood clots were found in her lungs, but the underlying cause of the blood clots was something that shocked our world… cancer was found.  Mom spent 15 long days in the hospital and during that time, I spent every night with her and most days. I give thanks to the new-found flexibility of being self-employed. I wouldn’t have been able to handle this very well in any other capacity. The Lord has brought me to this point and I look up and smile and laugh in disbelief at times at His timing. Through it all though, He is good.

            Mom was diagnosed with stage 3c breast cancer and will have to do 20-23 weeks of chemotherapy, followed by a mastectomy and removal of lymph nodes. The final step is radiation. Although the road will be long, we feel blessed that the Doctor caught this in time to do these treatments. Thanks be to God.

             I may not understand or always be strong, but I know that no matter what happens in this life, it is all a second compared to eternity. No matter what we may suffer here on Earth, obedience and faith will see us through to a place where there is no more suffering or pain. The Lord wants what is best for us and through our Earthly trials, we must remain loyal to the one who reigns eternal.

            I have been through a lot of emotions during the last month. Some days, I ran on just an hour or two of sleep. I’ve been strong and I’ve been weak.  The Lord has been my rock. I continue to be amazed by God’s people. I have seen folks who do not know my mother pray continuously for her and aside from family… there have been complete strangers donate to her (even anonymous) in this time of need. Most of the time when this happens, I cry. I feel Gods love for her during this time in so many ways and some that I have not mentioned here. Our hearts will be forever touched.

            While I want to shut the world away and be recluse, I make myself go out. I sat through church last week feeling like I was beside myself. I stared directly ahead and kept to myself as much as possible. I think that is okay because we all cope in different ways. I need the Lord and while I may not have my normal “bubbly” personality during this time, I do remain strong in the Lord and I keep telling myself something that a dear friend once told me, “God’s got it!”

Blessings to you,

Cassandra

Below, you will see my mother’s Go Fund Me link. However, if you wish to send a card through mail, I can provide her mailing address.

https://www.gofundme.com/sandra039s-breast-cancer-fight?fbclid=IwAR1vAg0F0_g24IBSJWci9tV_76btUDxD1iOSFXvOEy_x6-0svMUczhVQZng

mom tanya and i at qd

Photo taken at the 2018 mother daughter banquet at Quiet Dell United Methodist Church (Myself, my mom Sandra, and sister Tanya)

Be The Light

the fest ariel

Our youth group trip this year was to The Fest in Wickliffe Ohio and to Cedar Point. The Fest is put on for one day by the Catholic church. The Fest had over 40,000 people in attendance this year! Many tents were set up with free items, children’s activities, and so much more! Our youth group signed up to volunteer and some helped with the small children’s area and a couple of us worked the bubble station for two hours. Once our shift was over, we listened to top Christian artists who were there to sing throughout the day. The talent this year was Big Daddy Weave, We are Messengers, Mandisa and Toby Mac!

The theme of the Fest this year was, “Be the light.” We can shine the light of Jesus by being kind and respectful to other people. We can donate clothing to help those in need, we can say to someone, “have a blessed week” or visit someone you haven’t seen in a while. We can be a light in big and small ways. How bright does your light shine?

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Here is the website link: https://thefest.us/

Written by: Cassandra Freshour

Seven Deadly Sins – Pride

Wrath may be the strongest of the emotion leading to sin, at least for a brief moment, pride is the root of all sin. Being selfish and putting our desires, urges, wants and whims before everything else is the main reason we rebel against God’s will. The desire to find fulfillment in ourselves is totally against God’s desire. It is such a powerful urge that even the angels fell prey to it. Satan desired to be as God and it cost him his place in heaven.

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble.” Isaiah 14:12-16

Wanting to be better then everyone else happens constantly. Its way we do not talk to strangers, give money to the poor and why we get angry with our neighbors or those stupid people on TV. All sins steams from placing ourselves over others. We lust after the flesh because we want to have someone else. We envy what others have because we should have what they have, how could they have more then use? We are clearly better and deserve more. We gluttonously eat all we can because we should have all we can, we’ve earned it. We greedily horde our money because all of our hard work has earned it. We laze around because we are entitled to take it easy. We unleash our wrath on those who have wronged us. Do they not know how great we are? How dare they.

To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13

Heavenly Virtues – Humility

To counter our selfish desire, we are in courage to submit to God’s authority, recognize others virtues and talents, and the limits of our own talents and abilities. This means we must recognize that we are not the center of our worlds. We need to seek purposes beyond ourselves.

First, we need to remember that we were created by God for a purpose. While that purpose may not be easy to discern the base purpose is to worship God and reflect his image. Beyond that we need to strive to reach others with the message of Jesus Christ. How we do that is based on our talents and gifts given by our creator.

Next, we need to look at others around us and recognize that they also have amazing gifts. We often say we have been humbled by others when we realize they are better at something then us. It makes us realize how far we need to go to become as skilled as someone else when we allow ourselves to see their ability. Praising someone’s ability is also recognizing and glorifying God’s image.

Finally, we need to recognize that we have limits. We are not the smartest or most skilled in everything. By understanding that we all have limits allows us to realize when we are wrong or at least over stretched. We need to be humble and look to others, most importantly God, for help.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

I pray that we each look to God for our meaning and purpose. That our eyes are open to the amazing ability of others and our own short comings. May we each strive to reflect Gods image and spread Jesus’s message. Amen.

Written by: Dustin Freshour

Seven Deadly Sins – Wrath

Emotions are powerful. It is easy to let them cloud our judgement. All of the deadly sins come from letting our feelings over power our logic. Wrath is the most powerful emotion at least for the moment it arises. A flash of uncontrolled anger can lead to terrible mistakes. In fact, it is so common that we have a phrase to label crimes that occur due to a brief moment of extreme anger, crimes of passion.

Another type of wrath is that of long-term fixation is when we are angry with someone and want vengeance. So, we plot and plan against them. We become focused on the other person and exacting some sort of revenge.

I personally struggle with momentary wrath. For me personally it comes from things not going my way. Typically, I find myself in a fit of rage any time the project I am working on is not going smoothly, I receive an injury or even so small as other people cutting me off. It is easy to feel like these things are slights against us personally.

Heavenly Virtue – Patience

In reality, we are not owed anything. There is no reason to take things personally when someone cuts us off or our project goes side way. This is why it is so important to practice patience in a moment. Instead of getting angry and getting into a heated argument or screaming at inanimate objects, something I have done a time or two. We need to take a deep breath and focus on what really matters. Being an example of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Patience may be the most important of the virtues. Often stopping and thinking through our feelings and instead using our mind can save us a lot of trouble. We would be less tempted by that slice of cake, nap on the sofa or eye balling that lady in the red dress. Instead we pause and think through how to better live out our Christian values.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Written by: Dustin Freshour

Jesus Rescues: VBS

Our blog entry this week is short but I want to tell you about our awesome week at Bible School!

Vacation Bible school is a time of learning and fun for many children. Bible school is also an out reach to the community and as we see new faces we hope to provide answers to questions they may have during the time they are visiting. We hope to see children return to church after Bible school.

Our vacation Bible school directors are wonderful! They’ve been at this for over a decade now. There is a lot of planning and prep work and volunteers who come together to decorate and assist throughout the week.

The theme this year was Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus! The kids made crafts, attended storytelling of parables, watched short videos, and played water games!

I played a different role this year and took photographs throughout the week of the activities. I had some awesome helpers as well who enjoyed taking pictures of their friends!

We learned new songs, had some laughs and most importantly… grew closer as a church and in Jesus. Thank you for rescuing us!

Written by: Cassandra Freshour

The passing of a friend

I attended my friend’s celebration of life today. I knew Nicole for approximately 16 years. I grew closer to her in friendship during the time spent in the same classes at the Career Center. As juniors and seniors, we were able to attended Criminal Justice classes for college credit. Our class there became a family.

Nicole’s poem:

Thousands of words were said, between you and me,

You were a loyal friend and funny as could be.

We have memories that flood our mind,

Our hearts are heavy, as we look behind.

You taught us to keep our head up in the rounds of life.

So onward we look, through joy and strife.

 

We march on, through life’s valleys and hills,

Take a deep breath and appreciate small details,  

As we remember conversation and good times,

We pause to appreciate the lives you touched.

 

Each of us can paint our own piece of your life,

You were a fierce friend and wife.

Through the West Virginia mountains you did roam,

You found love and made a home,

You lived a life of peace and good will,

Today, we celebrate and send love to you from these hills.  

 

Written by: Cassandra Freshour

 

 

 IMG_0033

Pastor Who?

The concept of pastors transitioning between churches every decade (or less) is fairly new to me. I’ve only been a Methodist for 2 years and I can now say that I’ve been through my first pastor transition.

I started going to church when I was 18 years old and it was a country Church of God. Almost any given Sunday, every pew was filled. I loved that church, the pastor and his family who were part of the church services there.

Fast forward 3 years later, Dustin and I graduated from Glenville State College and moved to Morgantown, WV. We didn’t know much about Morgantown and we never found a new church. Every once in a while, when we were back in our hometown for the weekend, we would stop in for service. Fast forward another 2 years and we moved to Mount Clare, WV and still did not find a church. Another 3 years had gone by and in 2016, we stepped foot in Quiet Dell UMC and little did we know, but our lives were about to change for the better.

The old saying is true, the Lord does work in mysterious ways. I was generally not very outgoing… and now I  feel that I’ve done a complete 180. Within the first year at Quiet Dell, Dustin and I started volunteering more and more. We are now youth group leaders, teach a middle school Sunday School class and are part of other groups/ministries. I have become much more of a social butterfly and it is because of church. This also gave me the courage to start my photography business.  I only regret not attending this church sooner, but God’s timing is perfect.

You may find the title of this article somewhat strange, “Pastor Who?” In short, I put a spin on the popular British TV show,  “Dr. Who” and I have been a fan of the show for some time now. A quick rundown of the show is about an alien, who looks human on the outside but is not. He is a Time Lord. His race once ruled time but due to war is now extinct. As the last surviving Time Lord he  travel through space and time having adventures and saving earth and the universe.  They call him, the “Doctor.”

Dr. Who has many seasons and as the seasons progress, the Doctor occasionally dies and regenerates. Each regeneration gives him new body (as different actors over time have portrayed the Doctor). I found humor and similarities in the television show and United Methodist Church (UMC) pastors. Pastors in the UMC leave their appointed churches due to death, retirement or simply a new appointment.

The UMC has several layers. To keep it brief the District, an area of many counties, is responsible for providing Churches with Pastors. As one leaves, the void is filed with either a fresh pastor straight out of school or a more experienced pastor from another church. The dominos fall and appointments are reshuffled. Pastors may stay with a church for a few years or over a decade, but sooner or later one leaves and is replaced by another.

My church has recently went through a transition. Our pastor has been reassigned to 2 other churches in the area. His wife and son are also pastors. I have enjoyed their pastorship and friendship over the last two years and they will be missed.  With that being said, we are very excited for our new pastor and his wife to grow with our church family!

For those who are not familiar with the Methodist church, I want to come back to the concept of why pastors are reassigned. Way back in the early United States,  Methodist church pastors were called circuit riders. The pastors rode on their horses from settlement to settlement to form congregations and due to travel, that pastor may only be able to preach a sermon at any given church maybe once a month, sometimes more, sometimes less. The Methodist pastors were assigned to a geographic region, you see, and that is the same in today’s Methodist church. Our pastors have multiple churches to care for.

While it can be challenging to say goodbye to one pastor and accept a new pastor with new ideas the important thing is the. Christian message. Just like one actor replacing another on Dr. Who the lead may change but the show goes on. So is it true for our church. Regardless of what happens we will stay true to Jesus Christ and continue to spread his message.

Written by: Cassandra Freshour