My family is excited to be settling into our new home and to be new members of the family of faith at Smoke Rise. For the first several months of my ministry at Smoke Rise, I will be spending a lot of time getting to know all of you better and helping you get to know me. A large part of my work during this time will be focused on pastoral care, especially to members in homecare or care facilities. I will be coordinating with our Touch Point team and others to pick up where Rev. Forrester and Dr. Fulgham left off. Please pray for this important ministry of our church.
I also hope to visit, teach or spend time with different Sunday School classes in the coming weeks. If you are part of a Bible Study, mission, ministry or other group at Smoke Rise, do not hesitate to get in contact with me. I welcome the opportunity to get to know the Smoke Rise family in the context of your shared calling and work of faith.
I am already in the process of meeting with each member of our ministry team and look forward to leading and partnering with my new colleagues in the days, months and years ahead. One of the areas I will be evaluating and working to develop in the first months of my ministry will be visitor and new member follow up. I will also be planning and preparing to co-teach a Bible study series with Dr. George as part of the Wednesday Night Journeys program this Fall.
Thank you to everyone for your gracious embrace of me as your Associate Pastor, as I learn more about all the ways you worship, learn, care, serve and give for the advance of God’s reign of love in our world.
In God’s Peace,
Rev. Bart McNiel