This month we say goodbye to Pastor John Tomlin and begin the process of welcoming our new Pastor Kimberly Dugger to NFUMC. Pastor transitions are always hard and especially so since we’re just starting to come back from the Covid shutdown. Rev. Tomlin and Rev. Dugger are hard at work on the transition and your Board of Servants met with Rev. Dugger on June 1st as part of the transition process. We’ll be making more announcements about the transition throughout the month of June as we continue to work out the details.
One of those details is how we will handle the dual appointment of Rev. Dugger to both NFUMC and Friendship UMC. The two churches are only three miles apart and very similar in our congregation makeup which offers some intriguing possibilities. The Board met with our District Superintendent Susan Landry in late May on this subject leading to a very worthwhile discussion about a possible merger between NFUMC and Friendship UMC. Friendship is a small church with limited facilities while NFUMC is a church with very good facilities that needs more people to fill them. There are many positives for both churches with a merger, but many questions as well.
The Board will meet with leaders from Friendship during June to continue the discussion and then hold another Town Hall meeting with our congregation to get your opinions. Be assured that your voice will be heard during this process and that in any merger we will continue to worship on our campus while welcoming and incorporating the heritage of Friendship UMC.
In the midst of all this change we must recognize the superb efforts of Rev. Tomlin to bring us through this year of Covid as a congregation made even stronger through adversity. John has preached inside, outside, virtually and any other way he could think of to keep bringing the Word of God to this congregation. He will always be special to us and a member of the NFUMC family.
We have one more month to worship with Pastor John, so let’s enjoy our return to fresh air worship, the great music, great sermons and our fellowship with one another.
Yours in Service,
Steve Justice – 2021 NFUMC Board Chair