Monday, August 23, 2010

Congratulations to the Rev'd. Dr. Garry D. Pate!

Yesterday, following a wonderful service of worship at our own church, Centenary UMC, we had the great pleasure of joining with those at my home church, Christ's Community Church of the Nazarene, in celebrating the 30 years of pastoral ministry of the Rev'd. Dr. Garry D. Pate and his wife, Carolyn.  Dr. Pate was, at our recent District Assembly, elected District Superintendent of the Southwest Indiana District of the Church of the Nazarene.  August 22 was his last Sunday as pastor at Christ's Community, before beginning his new role in ministry.  -  After 30 years at Christ's Community, this will be a huge change for Dr. Pate and for the church, but we are trusting God for both, as they journey on with the Lord.

Two Sunday's ago, Pastor Pate showed up at Centenary to visit and support me in my new assignment!  It was a very happy surprise.  Prior to his election, he had told me that he might stop in to see me sometime during the month of August, but I did not know that he would be able to take a vacation Sunday like that, after his new election.

Suffice it to say, I was very glad to be in the area and able to join in his celebration at Christ's Community!  (By the way, for those who are still confused by my current status, please see, below.)

Part of the celebration/farewell, included presenting to the Pate's a large scrapbook (assembled by Anita Tate), wherein individuals had placed pictures, cards, letters, memories, etc.  -  I am thankful to Anita for including me as she invited people to participate in this project, and I wanted to go one step further by posting on my blog the entry I made in the scrapbook.  -  It is as follows:

Everywhere I go, when speaking of Garry Pate, I refer to him as “my pastor.” - I remember, as a young teenager, the first thing that impressed me about Pastor Pate was his professional appearance. Pastor Pate’s appearance and manner engendered respect, not only for him, but also for the ministry. - That stuck with me as I sought to follow my own call to ministry.

Of course, there is so much more to Pastor Pate than professionalism. He is a genuine caring and supportive pastor. That genuine support has followed me from my days as a teenager to this day. I owe Pastor Pate so much. He has been there for me during critical times and times of major transition. I still have, both the coffee mug (which only holds tea!) with my name on it that he gave to me at my high school graduation back in 1987, and the pen with my name on it he gave to me when I graduated from Trevecca. Again, when I was ordained an elder, he was there with a card of congratulations. And when I was working on my doctoral dissertation, Pastor Pate consented to be my Field Mentor.

Pastor Pate allowed me to not only preach at “Eastside,” but also to serve two summers during college as Youth Pastor (the first, assisting Brent Poe; the second, on my own).

Upon my graduation from seminary, when I had sent my resume to our new District Superintendent, Pastor Pate asked if I had heard anything. I said, “No, but I have been told I probably won’t unless I call him.” He responded, “That’s probably true . . . Would you like for me to call him?” - The next day I received a call from the district office to interview at my first church!

After arriving back on the district, Dr. Pate appointed me on the District Sunday School Ministries Board, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he was influential in some of my other district appointments.

Over the years Pastor Pate has always been a person I could go to to discuss various issues and decisions. He has been my pastor, mentor, and friend, and I am so happy for him in his election to the district superintendency for the Southwest Indiana District. If he had to leave Christ’s Community, there could not have been a better way to do so.

May God’s richest blessings be with him and Carolyn as they journey into this new phase of ministry!


For those still trying to figure out my current status:  My membership and orders remain in the Church of the Nazarene.  Thus, Dr. Pate is my D.S.  My status with the Church of the Nazarene is "Special Assignment/Interdenominational."

At the same time, I am very pleased to be the new pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church in New Albany, IN.  Thus. Rev'd. Charlie Wilfong is my D.S.  My status with the United Methodist Church is "Other Fellowship/Denomination."

I am quite comfortable being identified simply as "Methodist," in as much as I am ordained in the Church of the Nazarene (a Wesleyan-holiness expression of Methodism, and a member denomination of the World Methodist Council), and I am a pastor in the United Methodist Church.  On the other hand, I'm also comfortable being identified as "Wesleyan/Anglican" (which really amounts to the same thing!)!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Charles Wesley & The Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at Duke Divinity School

The following, exciting information comes from an email to a Wesleyan theological discussion group from Randy Maddox.  Typically, those emails are kept confidential, but, in this case, I think the information is intended to be shared:

The Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at Duke Divinity School is pleased to announce the launch of a major page on our website.

The link to this page, which is devoted to transcripts of all surviving verse that Charles Wesley left in manuscript at his death can be found on this main page:

When conjoined with the page launched earlier, giving verse that Charles Wesley published during his lifetime, this constitutes the first unified setting in which scholars and others have access to ALL of Charles Wesley’s surviving verse. The website will remain free access, so you are encouraged to use it in classes, etc. You are welcome to download the pdf files to your own computer (if you download the full set you can put them in one folder for search purposes). We simply ask that you observe the citation guidelines.

If you have downloaded transcripts of the published verse offered earlier, you might want to download updated files, as we have made a few corrections and added footnotes to identify which hymns have surviving manuscript drafts available.

If you have made an earlier link to a site, note the slightly changed address above, resulting from a redesign of the entire Divinity School website.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sermons Online

Just a quick post to let you know:  If you are interested in listening to one of my sermons, they are now online at our church's website.  The Centenary United Methodist Church website is located here.  And the sermons are found here.

I'm not guaranteeing they are any good, mind you, but they are available for listening.  And, of course, any good there is from God; the rest is from me.

In the future, I will be listing Centenary's website on my sidebar and updating the sidebar information a bit.

Keep coming back.  By September, I hope to be making regular posts.

Friday, August 6, 2010

First Sunday

We are still in the process of moving!  We are trying to wait patiently to close on our house.  I confess, it is taking longer than I had hoped.  Nevertheless, God has provided for us a place to live for the time being (thanks mom!), and God has provided a place for our "stuff" while we are waiting to move (thanks to our Grace Church family!).

I am also trying to become acclimated to our new church.  So, as you can see, I am not quite in a position to begin making regular posts to my blog.  -  I am thankful to all who have continued to follow the blog and to check in from time to time.

One of the members of our new church gave me these pictures taken last Sunday; our first Sunday at Centenary.  I thought that I would at least take time to share these.  -  And offer this invitation:  Anyone in the New Albany, Indiana area is always welcome to worship with us at Centenary United Methodist Church, 309 E. Spring Street!  Sunday School is at 9:00 AM, and Worship is at 10:00 AM.

I am looking forward to finally getting settled!  Then, I plan to make much more regular posts.  -  I have a number of things in mind!