While visiting with family last Sunday, I was delighted to receive a text message that informed me of our congregation’s unanimous vote to extend a call to Zach Wooten to serve as our Part-Time Pastoral Partner.   Having served as our Director of Youth Ministries from September 2013 to July 2015, Zach is no stranger to BCWC.  While a student at Princeton Theological Seminary, Zach served as the co-pastor of First United Methodist Church of Mount Holly for two years.  Through his studies and pastoral ministry in Mount Holly, Zach has grown and changed in many ways.  When Zach begins his part-time pastoral ministry at BCWC on July 16th, we, pastors and people, will enter into a period of transition and change.  While I will not take the space here to detail these changes and transitions, it’s important for us to be aware that we will experience them.  Some of them will be expected.  Some could be unexpected.  Whatever they are, I encourage us to be open to them by trusting in God.       

In light of what is taking place in our congregation, our sermon series for July will explore the theme of “Change, Transition and Transformation.”  We’ll explore how different people in the Old Testament experienced change, transition and transformation.  These people include: Naomi, Hannah, Moses, Abraham and Esther.  This week, we begin with Esther.  Her story is found in the Old Testament book, which bears her name.  She experienced profound change.  She went from being an average young Jewish woman to being the queen of the Persian empire.  As the queen she had an opportunity to help her people who were in great danger.  They were in danger because they were foreigners in a strange land.  They were disliked by those in power.  In order to help her people, Esther had to risk her very own life.

Her life raises some questions for our own lives.  Like the Jewish people in the Persian Empire who were a religious minority, practicing Christians are quickly becoming, if not already, a minority in our country.  This is especially true for those under thirty.  This is a profound change in our country and culture.  Queen Esther provides an example for us to follow in light of this cultural change.  We’ll explore her life and what it might teach us in today’s world this Sunday.     

Pastor Dave