Just A Note…

Greetings all:

Apparently I missed an email or memo or something. The last communication I received regarding March District meeting was from Cathy that said the meeting was at Medford. I even posted it that way on the web site.  I have obviously just returned from an empty parking lot there. I can only assume that the rest of you were at Merrill if at all.

Oh well. Our next meeting will be at Moon Beach on May 20th at 10:00 a.m. with lunch. Please email me with your reservations. waynegraceucc@frontier.com

Keeping with District matters, I will be stepping away from any leadership responsibilities in the District after the May meeting. I will also stop maintaining the web site. It will remain there until the domain name needs renewing. Any of you who are signed up for wordpress can maintain it.

I will continue to attend meetings.



March Meeting?

Greetings all:

At our January gathering, we talked about our March meeting. Missy and I both remember that we said that we would continue to meet at Merrill and that we would take turns providing program responsibilities. We also remembering somebody volunteering Cathy Burbury for the March meeting. Since both Missy and I remember the same thing then it has to be so, right? Does anyone else remember anything different? Please let me know NOW!

We will meet at St. Stephen’s UCC, Merrill on Tuesday, March 18th at 10:00 a.m. Details will be posted as they are available. Please plan to be there!

Wayne (waynegraceucc@frontier.com)

Fourteen Sentences That Brought Joy to Pastors

Another great item from Thom Ranier. If you are not reading his blog, you should!  Wayne



Fourteen Sentences That Brought Joy to Pastors

I just received a letter from a delightful lady. She was a member of a church where I was ordained in the ministry. What I remember most about her was the way she offered encouragement to the pastors of that church.

The letter reminded me of so many good laypersons who served sacrificially in churches where I have been. With that in mind, I asked several pastors to recall something very positive said to them by church members. I asked them to try to summarize it in one sentence. Though I shouldn’t be surprised, each of the pastors did not hesitate to offer one “joyful sentence.”

Here are the fourteen I’ve accumulated thus far. They are only in the order I received them and wrote them on my iPhone.

  1. “I would like to babysit your kids so you can go on a date with your wife.”
  2. “Pastor, let me tell you specifically what I learned from your sermon and how it helped me.”
  3. “Your wife should have the freedom to be herself in the church.”
  4. “I confronted your critic about those unfounded claims he made about you.”
  5. “I’m setting aside five minutes every day to pray for you and your family.”
  6. “I explained to the personnel committee how a package is not the same as your salary.”
  7. “Your kids should be able to live a normal life.”
  8. “Thank you.”
  9. “I want to help you recruit people to do ministry.”
  10. “I am so thankful for the time you spend in sermon preparation.”
  11. “We don’t expect you to attend every meeting or function.”
  12. “Let me do that for you.”
  13. “Tell me how I can most help your wife.”
  14. “Here is a gift card to get you some books for your library.”

Yes, ministry is tough. Yes, we run into some difficult people more often than we like. But the reality is there are so many good people, so many good church members. These are but a few of the reminders of how pastors have been blessed by those church members.

What would you add to this list?

January 2014 Meeting

Happy New Year!

st stephens merrill


Our January 2014 District Meeting will be held on January 21st, 2014 at St. Stephens United Church of Christ in Merrill. We will begin at 10:00 a.m. We will have the opportunity and pleasure of meeting the new Senior Pastor at St. Stephens, Rev. Kyle Carnes. Afterwards thos who wish to stay can share lunch together at a local eatery.

We hope to see you there!

7 Hard Words I’d Say to Every Pastor

A bit about Ron Edmondson in his words: “As pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church a church leader and the planter of two churches, I am passionate about planting churches, but also helping established churches thrive. I thrive on assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. My specialty is organizational leadership, so in addition to my role as a pastor, as I have time, I consult with church and ministry leaders.”

He recently wrote the following Blog post, which I commend to your reading. If you have the time to read another excellent ministry related blog, subscribe to this one. Great stuff.  Wayne

7 Hard Words I’d Say to Every Pastor

WordPress.com Design


I don’t want to toot my own horn, as they say. I am, however, extremely happy about the work I have recently done on both our church’s web/blog site (www.cometograce.net) as well as the one for the Merrill District Clergy.

I continue to learn new things in using wordpress.com and was able to easily re-design our sites with a Christmasy touch.

I have offered this in the past and will again. If you would like me to help you to learn how to do some of this stuff, I would be happy to help as I can. If you want me to come to you I would only ask for mileage and lunch or whatever. If you can come to Grace I’ll let you buy me lunch.

I am not starting a business. I just want to share this free / easy way of creating and maintaining a church’s web / blog site.

In September of 2014, Wendy Johnson, the professional who has taught me, and I will be leading a Social Media Retreat at Moon Beach. Please watch for that and join us. Wendy is such an awesome person!

Christmas blessings!


35 Lessons From 35 Years

The following is a post from the blog of Tom Ascol, a Baptist minister. They are all absolutely true and reflected in my own 36 years of ministry. Of course I won’t know about #35 until March, 2014.🙂

35 lessons from 35 years as a pastor

By Tom Ascol

Thirty-five years ago this month I began serving my first church as pastor. The Rock Prairie Baptist Church in College Station, Texas took a major risk on a senior Texas A&M student by issuing me a call to be their pastor. It was my happy privilege to serve them for nearly two years before being called to the Spring Valley Baptist Church in Dallas. I am currently in my twenty-eighth year of serving Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida.

As I recently reflected on the last thirty-five years I wrote down some lessons learned and convictions I’ve come to or continued to hold. Here are thirty-five of them.

    1. Long-term perspective helps you to endure and to think wisely about immediate problems.
    2. The kingdom of God does not—and will not—skip a beat when I am sidelined.
    3. The church is more important than I thought when I started.
    4. Some of my words and actions to which I am most oblivious can be hurtful to people.
    5. Pastoral ministry is indeed, as John Newton puts it, “a bitter full of sweet” and “a sorrow full of joy.”
    6. Christians are the greatest people in the world.
    7. Christians are capable of the most wicked actions in the world.
    8. My greatest challenge at the beginning of my ministry continues to be dealing with my own heart.
    9. An excellent wife is the greatest earthly gift I have, and she is more excellent than I ever could have imagined.
    10. True friends are rare and invaluable.
    11. Some of the most outwardly religious people can be the biggest hypocrites.
    12. It is nearly impossible for a man who marries poorly to make it in the ministry.
    13. Some of the most humble, unassuming saints provide the greatest encouragement to pastors.
    14. Some of the most effective pastoral ministry I have ever had has come through my presence more than my words.
    15. Some words I have spoken incidentally have ministered God’s grace more powerfully than others over which I labored and prepared for hours.
    16. Preaching really is a divinely ordained, foolish activity.
    17. Every conversion to Christ is a miracle of grace involving intricate acts and provisions that have been divinely orchestrated.
    18. Having the right books is far more important than have many books.
    19. God’s grace has shined brightest through the suffering of His people.
    20. Justification by faith is a bottomless well of grace.
    21. The complete humanity and spotless righteousness of Jesus has become more amazing to me.
    22. There is no easy way to do a hard task and ministry is full of hard tasks.
    23. The propitiatory work of Jesus on the cross amazes me more and more.
    24. The relationship of God’s law to His gospel has implications for every biblical doctrine.
    25. Some of the greatest pastors are men who live, serve and die in relative obscurity.
    26. Incremental progress is real progress and should not be dismissed.
    27. God is far more patient than I could have ever imagined.
    28. Forgiveness is one of the sweetest graces both in its giving and receiving.
    29. Though I’ve stayed in one place a long time, I have served at least 4 different churches during that time and my people have had at least that many different pastors in the same man.
    30. Wherever you see a long pastorate you can be sure there is an abundance of grace in the congregation.
    31. Godly widows and widowers are worthy heroes.
    32. The advance of the gospel and the spread of God’s kingdom is a testimony to power of His grace.
    33. Raising children is one of the greatest privileges and challenges in human experience.
    34. Having adult children is a greater joy and blessing than I ever imagined it would be.
    35. Grandchildren rock!

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