Nancy wrote this in a note to her family:
It will be a short retirement, specifically July. Michael is taking the position of full-time Interim Pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Moline, IL. This church is larger than Church of Peace and has more worship services and a full-time associate. They have been looking for some time for someone to fill in when their current pastor leaves this month after a 7-year stint. A cousin of a friend of mine who is on the committee saw the article about Michael’s retirement in the newspaper and was talking about it at a baseball game with his cousin (my friend). She said, “Oh I know his wife!” And the connection was made – you can’t make this stuff up!
Michael will begin his duties at First Congregational the first weekend of August. I guess my dream of weekend getaways will have to be put on hold for awhile. We aren’t sure how long this will be – the church is looking to call a full-time pastor. But as they say, “the Lord does work in mysterious ways” and Michael has the experience they are looking for to help their church move forward. Plus it’s some extra money and that’s always nice. So keep us in your thoughts as we transition to the next chapter. He is continuing his part-time work with the non-profit group, Quad City Alliance for Immigration and Refugees (QCAIR). He will try to juggle both for awhile-we’ll see how it all goes.
So the week before the wonderful retirement weekend at Church of Peace I got a call from the fellow heading up the committee to find an interim for First Congregational UCC, Moline. They wanted someone for six months to two years, depending on how their search goes. One positive meeting led to another, and soon we had reached a meeting of the minds.
This is not what I had in mind a year ago when I announced my retirement from the Church of Peace. My mental picture was to goof off for six months to a year and then take interim training, and then look for interim ministry in the area while Nancy still works for the AEA as a speech therapist. And then the people from First Congregational Church called me. Nevertheless, I am pleased to serve First Church, and look forward to helping through the transitional period. At least my skills are fresh!
The Chairman of the Search Committee at First Congregational Church announced in church last Sunday, July 8, that I would be their interim senior minister. I had contacted the Chairperson of the Church Council at Church of Peace and she also let the people know there.