A Message from One of Your Interim Pastors…
Blessings and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
As most of you know, Betsy Martin, the wife of our pastor Jim Martin, has been fighting serious illness for quite a while now. She has had several months of chemotherapy, and then during March and April underwent three surgeries related to the removal of the cancer and follow-up issues which developed. Pastor Martin is her primary caregiver when she is at home, and that requires a great deal of time. Due to this situation, the District Superintendent, the Rev. Loretta Isaiah, met with Pastor Martin and the Staff Parish Relations Committee recently and strongly recommended that Jim take two months of release time.
Release time is a program of the Annual Conference wherein a pastor may take up to three months off and still receive his or her salary while the conference covers the cost of other pastors, generally retired elders, to fill in at the church. That release time for Jim began on June 1, 2022, and will continue through July 31, 2022. At that time, if necessary, Rev. Isaiah has indicated that it can be extended for a third month.
Rev. Isaiah talked with both Tim Conrad and me about covering pastoral duties during the months of June and July. We have agreed to do so, with the arrangement being that I will cover pastoral care and preaching responsibilities during June and Tim will do that during July. To that end, I began my interim duties on Wednesday, June 1, and preaching duties at both services on June 5.
I am sure that I speak for my brother Tim when I say that we solicit your prayers and support during these two months. We also solicit your prayers and support for both Jim and Betsy Martin as they face so many health-related struggles. And we solicit your prayers for St. Matthew United Methodist Church that we may, as a church, be a faithful witness to the love of Jesus Christ in Weston, Lewis County and the surrounding area. May the community around us know that we are Christians because of our love for Jesus and our love for one another.
In Christ’s service,