As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10).

I had a dream that the Rev. Dr. Debbie Allen (our District Superintendent) had asked me if I’d be willing to serve a small church in retirement. I remember saying, “Yes,” but immediately regretting that I’d have to be at work on July 1, but I will take three weeks of vacation at the end of June.  Then I woke up.

That afternoon, Dr. Allen emailed a few of us pastors asking if a retired pastor in our congregations was willing to serve a part-time church in Bradenton. I emailed back, told her about the dream, and offered to serve. I don’t put much stock in dreams but believe in serving.  As Jesus said, “… the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

Mandatory retirement means I will leave the itinerant system of appointments at the end of June. Then, on July 1, I’ll be appointed as a retired part-time pastor of Faith United Methodist Church in Bradenton. As some of you predicted, I will continue to stay busy. Maybe I “failed” retirement before I started. I prefer to think of it as continuing to serve to fulfill the calling of God’s grace in my life in retirement—something I see many of you doing. Blessings!

Dr. Sam