So, I thought I would say something here about firsts, as today was my first Sunday preaching at three new churches. It will never again be my first Sunday at any of those churches. Just like the first sermon I gave, I won’t ever give my first sermon again. I can undoubtedly say that I felt much more at ease today than I did with my first sermon. If you’re curious, you can watch it here. You can listen to toady’s sermon if you want a comparison.

What struck me toady was that today felt like a natural continuation of my ministry. I wasn’t starting over. I wasn’t “fresh off the boat” as I was in the video above. No, I was in a new place, but I was still doing God’s work. And that really hit me. As I was sitting here, I realized that I had grown in many different ways over the last few years. I had left behind the trepidation I had when I had first begun. I was there to preach God’s Word to God’s people. I realized that I had grown in my confidence, because I had grown in God. The friendly people of the United Methodist Church had helped me along through many firsts, and here I was today, confident because God’s children had helped me along. And I’m confident that as long as God calls me, I will follow.

For me, this is amazing. For those of you who don’t know, I have high anxiety. How high? My loving mother-in-law used to try to make sure I always had an isle seat whenever we went to see a show, so that if I wouldn’t feel trapped, and could make a quick exit if needed. I panicked at lots of things, especially firsts. But today? I was greeted with warm smiles, kind words, and loving hand shakes. I was welcomed, not into a buildings, but into families. My anxiety didn’t jump out and tell me to run. I was in a familiar place, because even if I was in a new church, I was still in God’s house, with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve come to learn that because of that, I can be “at home” in the church.

I may still get a little nervous with my “firsts” but I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, that many of my firsts now are opportunities to get to know brothers and sisters I just haven’t had the chance to get to know yet. So with one first behind me, I look forward to the next. Talk to you again soon. God bless.

Pastor Cam

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