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From The Pastor...

Dear Friends in Christ....   

As I sit at my computer getting ready to pen something for the January edition of “The
Encourager” I am reminded that in a few short days not only will I be among millions of
people all around the world who will be celebrating the beginning of another new year,
but I will also be celebrating the beginning of my third year as pastor of Seffner First
United Methodist Church. What began as an invitation to be an interim pastor at
Seffner First for six months has become being appointed as pastor still serving two years

Needless to say we have experienced much together during this time. We have experienced joys and
sorrows, laughter and tears, successes and failures, and challenges and changes. Through it all the one
constant has been God's presence, grace, and provision. I am so grateful that God has called me here and
continues to walk with me as I endeavor to be faithful to that call to pastor his church here. I am also very
grateful for the faithfulness and support of God's people who claim Seffner First as their church home.
That being said, I cannot help but ask: has the past year been everything that we hoped it would be? Truth
be told, most likely not. There is always room for improvement on so many levels, to be better and to do
better as the church and people of God we are called to be.

As we move into a new year we are being given the opportunity to write a new chapter in our life together
here at Seffner First Church. New Year's day is that day of transition from the past and all that we wish we
could do over and or change and a day to look ahead with a clean slate. It is important that we start afresh
and welcome the new year that brings with it, its own set of hopes and dreams, aspirations and desires, and
challenges and opportunities for ministry. It is also so important that we remember that as we make this
transition from the past to the future with our God who makes all things new.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more
death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed
away. And the one seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things
new.' Then He said, 'Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.'”
--Revelation 21:4-5

'Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed
away. Behold, the new has come!” --2 Corinthians 5:17

With God's guidance, strength and by his grace, may we be open to following him wherever he calls us in
the new year, and may we also claim each new day in the coming new year to weave his call with our
hopes and dreams for our life together as his church in this place. May God give us the wisdom and
strength to overcome our past years failures and disappointments and claim the opportunities before us to

Together let us make the most of this new year to achieve “success” in God's name in all our endeavors
for him and his church. Together let us traverse any and all challenges and look beyond the trivialities of
life and rise above any petty issues that may arise. Together may we be open to see the joys and blessings
that surround us....all of which are gifts from our God who makes all things new! Together may we be the
church God is calling us to be and that is his Light to the community and the world!

I wish each and every one of you a very Happy and Blessed New Year!
In Christ, who has called us to walk in faithfulness together.

Pastor Terry