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Thursday, October 23, 2008

First 100 Days - Part 1 (9/30/08)

Dear Leader and Team Player of Eastern New York/New England District:


Just 3 ½ weeks ago we were gathered at the firehouse for district conference. A lot of water has gone over the dam since then. Susan and I have been very busy but very happy people. We believe that we are in the center of God’s will. You are our people and we love you! God has brought us together to share this stage of the journey – to do life together.

On July 2nd in my devotions I read these verses regarding the conversion of Saul: “Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road to Damascus. Barnabas also told then what the Lord had said to Saul and how he boldly preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. The apostles accepted Saul, and after that he was constantly with them in Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord…then the church had peace throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria, and it grew in strength and numbers. The believers were walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.”

As I read these verses, the Holy Spirit whispered to me:
*You will be accepted in Eastern New York/New England
*You will be constantly with them (your team)
*You will preach boldly
*The churches will have peace
*The churches will grow in number and strength
*The believers will walk in the fear of the Lord
*The believers will be comforted by the Holy Spirit.

Today (Tuesday) Susan flies to Indiana to be with our daughter, Beth, who is scheduled to deliver our eighth grand child this week. When she returns in approximately 10 days, we hope that the district center will be ready to move into. While she is away, I’ll be living in two of the downstairs rooms of the district parsonage that are not undergoing renovation.

We are both anticipating the minister’s retreat October 20-21. This teambuilding event will set the tone for our first year together. If you have not yet registered, please do so today by contacting Jeff Turcotte at (518) 293-7149.

I have been asked to speak in all the sessions so that we can get better acquainted. Please pray with me that God will continue His Spirit of renewal and healing that was evident at conference. During the retreat I’ll bring you up to speed on happenings from across the district.

When leaders join organizations, they often have a list of goals they hope to accomplish during the that first 100 days. Here is what I believe God want us to accomplish between now and January 1st:

1. Get moved into the district center
2. Get my office set up with books unpacked and all office equipment and computers working properly
3. Hire office personnel. Dean Brown did a splendid job but now wishes to focus on building Ridge Road Wesleyan Church. We are grateful for all that Dean did to keep the office going during the time of the DS search. Thanks, Dean!
4. Have a wonderful team building ministerial retreat with all our pastors and spouses present.
5. Have great teambuilding Christmas parties in each of our zones.
6. I will see every parsonage and church.
7. I will sit down with every pastor and spouse for a time of fellowship and “getting acquainted.”
8. Have a DBA retreat to get direction and set goals.
9. Close on the sale of the camp to the association.
10. Have a pastor, interim pastor, or interim plan for each church.

You will be happy to know that the district sent Ralph and Linda Chapman on a three-day vacation – all expenses paid – as a way of showing our appreciation for his work as Acting District Superintendent. Ralph reports they went to Vermont, rested and had a great time. Thanks, Ralph and Linda!

In closing, I want to once again emphasize the Ministerial Retreat. Some of the topics and key words that you will hearing during our two days together will be:

*Soul Winning!

Until the 20th!

Pastor Paul

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