Welcome to North Carolina

It’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog. Since my last post, I’ve moved! I’ve served in several different yearly meetings – New England, New York, Indiana and now North Carolina. Each move has meant leaving old friends behind and making new ones, and each new ministry has a huge learning curve.

I plan to start posting more frequently again, but meanwhile, thanks to all of the folks at West Richmond Friends Meeting who supported me and my family for 22 years, and thanks to all of the folks at Springfield Friends Meeting in High Point, North Carolina, who have done so much to welcome us!

When a meeting calls a new pastor, there are so many things to learn and unlearn, so many faces to match with names, to many traditions to understand and plans to make. I hope that this thank-you list gives you some ideas about what you can do to welcome and support a new pastor.

Special thanks during the last 8 months to:

  • Millie told me who was sick, who’s related to who, and forgave my many mistakes in the meeting office
  • Tom and Gaither opened their home to us during the first week we were here
  • Donnie got our furnace and A/C working
  • Sandra showed unfailing patience with me on financial matters and invited my wife to Zumba
  • Brockie brought food and sweet tea for everybody unloading the moving van; also shared Christmas trees with us
  • Eldora shared the meeting’s history with me
  • Vivian planted flowers in front of our home
  • Javier brought us tacos and introduced us to our Latino neighbors
  • Jerry shook my hand every week and told me how glad he was that my family and I are here
  • Judith brought us farm-fresh eggs and home-made jam
  • Betty brought us pimento cheese
  • Steve got the leaky roof fixed
  • Janet supported all of the new music I introduced
  • Julia played all of the new music with skill and spirit
  • Donald took me out for barbecue at his favorite restaurant
  • Pat took us to her favorite Christmas show
  • Heather let me hold her dragon
  • Travis and Sarah honored me by asking me to officiate at their wedding
  • Becky sewed weights for the marriage certificate
  • Mike asked us to lunch at his restaurant
  • David spent a whole day with his chainsaw cutting trees at the parsonage
  • Curtis brought us a bushel of pecans
  • Gary brought us a pork shoulder still hot from the barbecue pit
  • Butch put up new signs everywhere
  • Peggy told me every week that she was praying for me
  • George invited us to his favorite gospel groups
  • Kevin and Angie let me hold their newborn baby
  • Jim showed me his pictures from the Second World War
  • Sharon gave us flowers on every possible occasion
  • Rita insisted that I go through the line first at Circle meetings
  • Helen brought a couple of deviled eggs just for me because I complained they were all gone at monthly fellowship lunch
  • Jane shared the wonderful art her husband painted and the pain of her grief
  • Gene helped me carry truckloads of boxes to the dump
  • all the women of the meeting gave us their favorite recipes
  • Barbara showed me the house where she grew up
  • Dwight gave me a kit to build a mandolin
  • Robert made me feel a part of the fish fry crew
  • Ken helped guide my ideas through monthly meeting for business

There are dozens of others I could thank – sorry I couldn’t fit you all in!

Now, just one quick question – what on earth is a Tarheel?


2 Responses to “Welcome to North Carolina”

  1. 1 Marilee Gabriel May 8, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I’ve missed your blogs, Josh. Glad Friends there are treating you with such kindness and care. I can imagine their delight to have hit the jackpot with you. Missing you here, but pleased to no end that you landed in such a wonderful meeting.  Keep writing your blogs. It helps us. Warm regards to Joyce too. Marilee

  2. 2 Dortha Meredith May 9, 2016 at 8:06 am

    I was happy when I opened my email to find your blog. Thanks for sharing your “thank you’s”. It reminded me of North Carolina’s gift of hospitality and welcome. I love hearing about all the ways you and Joyce have been made to feel at home.
    We miss you here in Richmond and are glad to know you are “among friends”
    God bless you and Joyce,

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All of the posts on this blog are my own personal opinion. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the members and attenders of the meeting where I belong or any organization of Friends. For more information, click on the "About Me" tab above.



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