Friday, April 20, 2007


April 1 was the biggest and longest party I have attended. The brothers and sisters at Berry's Chapel went the second and third mile to make our last day a memorable one. More than 500 people were present for the morning services. It was good that my entire immediate family was able to be present. The food for the noon meal was plentiful and delicious. The 4ever Brothers did a great job singing. The afternoon service with Jermey Houck and Chad Hedgepath speaking was encouraging. I appreciated the preachers from the Third Monday Workshop coming with their gifts. They gave me enough motel soap to last at least through my first interim. The elders were kind in their remarks. The gifts were generous and appreciated. We have hung the picture of downtown Franklin in our foyer. The Cracker Barrel rockers are already being used. The more than $5,000.00 that members at Berry's Chapel gave in our honor to Childhaven was a surprise and will be used to help children. I was at a board meeting there April 12. That contribution is appreciated by the board, staff, and children at Childhaven.
I'm glad we read the book, Managing Transitions, by William Bridges in our staff meetings during the last few months. He discussed the steps in a transition: ending, new beginning, and the neutral zone. I remember that confusion and disorientation are normal in the neutral zone. The first week after "retirement" was spent in work, service, and cleaning out my "upper room" study. Copying files to flash drives and deleting data and programs on the church computer ran into the next week.
One of the projects we are enjoying is visiting congregations where we have worked over the last forty years. Sunday, April 8, we went to Yorkville, Tennessee. Forty years previously, the second Sunday in April, 1967, I preached my first sermon as the full-time preacher for that congregation. They asked me to preach. It was encouraging to hear Bobby McKnight repeat my favorite memory verse that developed during that ministry four decades earlier.
That Sunday night, we went to West Nashville Heights in Nashville, Tennessee, where I preached before coming to Berry's Chapel. We look forward to other visits before starting at Eddyville, Kentucky, May 6. That will be "Friends and Family Day." We moved some boxes there Monday night. They are preparing the house for us in a beautiful way.
I am writing this at 5:45 a.m. I have spent the night setting up a new printer, transfering files to my laptop, which will be my "interim computer," and learning a new program for graphics. I usually stay up a night or two with a new computer.
We are packing and collecting duplicates of things we will need both at home and at our other home.
I have bought a new book on blogging. I hope to learn what it is and how to do it better.
Thanks to Jill Parker, I now have a web site that tells something about me and interim ministry. Please check it out at: