Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Thanks to each and every one of you for the warm welcome extended to me as your new pastor! I pretty much hit the ground running – my first day with you was a Sunday morning – and I had just come from my previous church the week before, but you’ve all been very generous and I feel very welcomed. I’m glad to be here in Petaluma, and I look forward to our time together.

Much of my time these past couple of weeks has been spent meeting with various committee chairpersons, finding out what you have going on here at PUMC, and just getting a feel for who you are and what you value about your church. I’ve especially appreciated the Sunday afternoon, neighborhood meetings at person’s homes with a small group. These will continue in August. They are an excellent way for us to get better acquainted … although I may still need to ask your names a few times 😊

Some people have asked what my plans are for the church. Honestly, it’s a bit early to answer that; I don’t even know who you are, or what your strengths are, or your dreams. Our lectionary scripture readings in July helped us look at the kind of community God calls us to be and to become. As we get to know each other, working, playing, and praying together, we’ll see what God is calling Petaluma UMC to be and become at this time in history, for the next chapter of its journey.

Be assured, whatever it looks like, it will be a joint endeavor, a participation of all the parts of this particular body of Christ located here at the corner of 5th and D Streets, a few blocks from the Petaluma River before the hills rise forming the gap through which fog rolls ever so profusely from the great Pacific into and over grazing herds, verdant crops, and bustling humans with our ever-growing habitation and technologies.

Yours, trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit to continuously surprise us beyond our wildest expectations and imaginings,

Pastor Eric

August 2017