Rev. Russell Alexander
We thank you and your wife for your enthusiastic commitment to serving as the Pastor and First Lady of Epworth UMC. We are encouraged that at virtually every level, from the personal to the institutional, you will guide Epworth through our faith journey and the strength of your pastoral resilience will be essential in navigating us successfully and allow us to thrive in Christian ministries.
Our church leadership is keenly aware that the role of the pastor is one of the most difficult callings in the world, because you are entrusted by God to be the Spiritual Teacher, Leader, and Shepherd of our church.
We pray that you remember that, all through history God has used pastors to shake up the status quo, to call his people to repentance, to turn the world upside down. The Apostle Paul caused riots in Greek cities preaching about Jesus. Martin Luther thundered against the Pope and gave the scriptures back to the people after 300 years of darkness and ignorance. John Wesley preached to prisoners, miners, and angry mobs.
Epworth’s congregation understands that significantly moving the needle for the church’s growth and vitality means amplifying the church leadership and congregation Christian voices, highlighting their gifts and advocating for their committees and ministries in their unified support of the communities we serve.
Therefore, we the leadership and congregation of Epworth UMC pledge to be patient with our new pastors, because it takes years to earn mutual trust, build leadership teams, and establish effective ministries in the manner that will bring glory to God’s name and also advance the coming of his Kingdom.