Pastor’s Letter for October 2022


Pastor Jim Martin of St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Weston, WV
Jim Martin

On his death bed, John Wesley reportedly spoke these last words: “The best of all is, God is with us.” Through thick and thin, celebration and disaster, wellness and suffering, indeed, in our living and dying: God is with us. That is a remarkable claim. For me, it sums up the promise of Christ Jesus for us in this life and the life to come. We are not guaranteed riches or a life free of suffering or pain, only a life filled with the love, compassion, and caring of Christ accompanied with the mandate to live a life filled with love, compassion and caring for our neighbor.

As a personal testimony, God has been with Betsy and me as we have journeyed through
Betsy’s surgeries, and subsequent bacterial infections. Currently, Betsy is home and under the
care of home health. So many of you have reached out with cards and notes of prayer and
support as well in other ways. It has been heartwarming and reassuring, reminding us that
indeed, God is with us. We are so grateful to God first, and to each and every one of you. We
have felt and experienced Christian love and hold each of you dearly in our hearts.

I am also grateful for the kindness and care of our District Superintendent, Rev. Loretta Isaiah,
for arranging with the St. Matthew Staff Parish Relationship Committee to allow me to have three
months of relief time, from Jun. 1 until Sept. 1. And I am grateful for my brothers in
Christ and colleagues in ministry, Joe Shreve and Tim Conrad, for providing pastoral support for
the St. Matthew community in my absence. Thanks guys. You know I love you both.

And I am grateful and thankful for how the worship teams have pulled together to provide
awesome worship experiences each and every week. Thanks always to Whitney Ballard and
Tracy Alfred, Kathy White, the Praise Team, those providing special music this summer, and our
“production crew” Justin Roy, Sadie Robinson, Shaun Smith, and again Joe and Tim.

But you need to know that Betsy’s battle to survive her recovery is not over. She has had and
been treated for Sepsis five times since her emergency surgery which was only eight days after the
initial surgery on March 23. We do not honestly know how all this will end. The general
prognosis because of the Sepsis which is from bacterial infections is not encouraging. But Betsy
is working hard toward recovery through the in-home therapy which she continues to receive.
Will there be more infections? Almost certainly, there will be. More hospitalization? Very
likely. If the infections continue to reoccur at the rate which they have been, her body will
eventually get to the place that it will no longer respond to the antibiotics. Then again, if the
infections become less and less frequent, there is a chance of getting “around the corner” on
this dilemma. We have shared tears and frustration and our fears. But the thing that holds us
and gives us strength is our belief and trust to which John Wesley testified: “The best of all is,
God is with us.” Beloved, that makes all the difference. And, it is good to be back.

Pastor Jim