I’ve always heard that there is an old Chinese curse that goes something like this: “May you live in interesting times.” I don’t know if it’s a curse or not, but “interesting times” are often filled with conflicting emotions. This is certainly true of the two months encompassed by this issue of “Seaside Currents.”
On June 1, we welcome our fifth ministerial intern in as many years. As a Duke Endowment eligible church, Seaside is blessed to be able to participate in the field education program at Duke Divinity School. We provide housing and a 10 week practical learning experience, the student gains valuable experience in ministry, and The Duke Endowment provides the student with a generous stipend to be used to offset the cost of their theological education. This year’s student is Elly Tilk of Quincy, Florida. Elly is a graduate of Wesleyan College in Macon, GA and is the daughter of a Methodist Minister. I met her last week and I know you will find her delightful.
At the end of June, we bid farewell to Carol and Paul Sigafoos as they move to Florida to care for Carol’s mother. Carol, as you all know, has been our Parish Nurse and Director of Health & Wellness Ministries since 2011. Under her able leadership the Health & Wellness Ministries at Seaside have truly come into their own. New programs have been added, existing ministries have been strengthened, and the H&W workgroup has developed a core of committed and gifted leaders. But in addition, Mary Jane and I (and many of you) have come to rely upon Carol as a key part of our pastoral care team at Seaside. Her gentle spirit, quiet competence and deep commitment will be sorely missed. In the weeks ahead, we and the Staff Parish Relations Committee will be working diligently to assess the church’s staffing needs and available resources to find the right person so that we can effectively and efficiently move into the future.
June also marks the beginning of the sixth year of our ministry among you at Seaside. It hardly seems possible. But we look back with joy at the strides we have made over these years even as we anticipate with excitement the growth that is yet to come.
July marks the beginning of the 25th year of the ministry of Seaside United Methodist. We celebrate the anniversary of the first meeting of the church as a mission with a visit from Rev. Ruth Harper Stevens on July 20. Ruth was Superintendent of the Wilmington District at the time of the construction of our first building on Seaside Road. We look forward to her presence with us again.
And finally, July is the official Kick-off for the STARS program. You’ve heard much about STARS during our current preparation period and will see and hear even more as we host this six-week literacy and enrichment program.
It is an exciting time to be part of this church. Thank you for your support which has helped us to come so far. Thank you in advance for the prayers and support that you will continue to offer. May God grant us grace that all who come behind us will find us faithful.