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  • Rev. Nikki Raye Rice

Celebration of New Ministry

Dear Morehead Family,

First, I want to say thank you for the warm welcome I have received, both by the leadership at Morehead UMC and by those who sent me a card in the mail. I am looking forward to our first official Sunday on July 10th and for you all to meet Pastor Paul Freeman, who is the other half of your new ministry team! I will serve as the Lead Pastor and Paul will serve as the Director of Ministries.

If you had a chance to watch our hello video ( ), you might remember that I have been meditating on Peter’s experience of walking on the water in the Bible.

Like Peter on the edge of the boat in Matthew 14, we are about to step out onto unknown waters. We are entering into a new season where we will collaborate with St. Timothy’s UMC. This collaboration will primarily begin by both churches sharing Paul and myself as a ministry staff. I wonder what Peter felt at the edge of that boat. Exhilaration, anxiety, faith? Maybe you feel the exhilaration of new opportunities and relationships. Or possibly you feel the anxiety of something uncertain and different. Maybe you feel something else altogether. Either way, the time has come to step out. And like Peter, as we walk on the waters of this new collaboration, we probably won't be perfect; we might stumble here or there, waver among the waves. And like Peter, I trust that we will find Jesus' hand stretched out and ready to steady us. Whatever feelings we bring with us into this transition, they are all welcome, because Jesus' hand is stretched out. We do not enter this new season alone; Christ is with us. And with that, we can celebrate! We can celebrate Christ in each person at Morehead, we can celebrate Christ in the people of St. Timothy’s, we can celebrate Christ shining in our new Director of Ministries, Paul Freeman.

This Sunday, as you all welcome Paul and me to join you in ministry, it is my hope that we would feel a deep sense of celebration for what God has already done among you and for what God can do in this next chapter. It is my hope that we would celebrate Christ in each other, and from that place, we can step out on the water with courage and joy! grace,

Pastor Nikki Raye

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