May 25 2017

Pastor Jeff Symonds

God’s covenant with His people begins in chapter 12 of Genesis with this simple, yet earthshaking command, stated simply “Leave what you know and go into the unknown.” The command is united with a blessing for Abraham and his descendants, yet it is no less scary and fearful because of the blessing! I answered God’s call to go into the ministry career 45 years ago. I have gone wherever our New Mexico Annual Conference has sent me (even when they gave me away to the Northwest Texas Annual Conference for 4 years). After all these years, I have become rather comfortable in my identity as a United Methodist pastor. I’ve had several friends tell me they had to figure out their new identity, and I suppose I shall have to get that worked out, too. This, too, is ANOTHER venture into a new unknown.

But just as God was with Abraham throughout his journeys, God has been with me as I moved over the years. I know He will continue to be with me as I move into this new identity as a retired person. You will get to know me in my new role as the retired person instead of my old role as “Pastor Jeff.” I’ll still answer to that name, but we will all take some time to figure out what my new role and identity are. I’ve got several trips planned already and have a few projects around the house and yard in mind too. This staying in the same place and taking on a new identity is all new to me and may be even more fearful and scary than going to a new place geographically! There is a little statue of a cherubic angel sitting on my bookshelf new my desk that says, “Blessed is the man that TRUSTETH in the LORD.” I don’t know about you, but I need all the reminders I can get that trusting in God is what life is all about. 

My last Sunday Sermon will be on June 18 that I’m calling “Ultrasound Faith.” After a few weeks of vacation, I expect that you’ll see me around the church-house, trying to figure out my new role and identity.

Grace and Peace,