I’m Pastor Tom and I am delighted to be your new pastor at Grace UMC for the next few months. Though I currently have my home in TX, I am equally at home in Phoenix. In the past I have served several churches here in the East Valley including Velda Rose, Gilbert, and St. Matthew UMC. I have also served as the Conference’s programing director, as a District Superintendent, and as the denomination’s director for New Church Starts across these United States. I retired two years ago this coming June but missed preaching and now God has provided me this opportunity to preach and serve you.
It goes without saying, these are certainly challenging times we find ourselves in. Every day we are all faced with confusing and conflicting news about the corona virus and what we need to do to stay healthy for ourselves and our neighbors. As of last week, Governor Ducey has announced a “Stay at Home” order. Needless to say, we should all follow directions. As for the church and our church life, you should know that I am working to provide you with video sermons that will be accessible from the Grace UMC website and Facebook page. Information about future events and the church’s schedule will be delivered to you through the regular communications channels of the newsletter, emails, the church’s website, and our Facebook page. Pledge contributions and Easter offerings should be sent to the church and will be posted to your account as usual. (If you use online banking, you can also save postage.) I want you to know that I am here to help and serve you and to let you know, you are not alone.
There are two wonderful words that are repeated over and over in the bible, “Fear not.” To be sure, fear is not always bad. It keeps us from hurting ourselves such as fearing a hot stove or keeping us from getting too close to the edge of a high cliff. However, when fear paralyzes us and keeps us from moving forward that fear is not useful. I want you to join with me to “fear not”, and to pray for the world to become well and much stronger in the future.
Rev. Tom Butcher