Our beloved Joe Gonzales, who has read scripture for us on videos for over a year, who along with his husband and lead chef Juan has prepared closing in on 2,000 burritos for our to-go community meals due to the COVID shutdown, who entered seminary a year ago due to a sense of calling that was affirmed by First Church at Charge Conference has …
… been assigned to serve in pastoral work at St Paul’s United Methodist Church in Vacaville. This is just being announced, but Joe will begin there right away in July!
This news immediately became enormously complicated for me. I was informed last Saturday that I was to be the elder laying on hands for the ordination of a pastor I supported in his ministry preparation this last Sunday, so I was horrified that I’d miss Joe’s last Sunday!
The good news is that along with Joe’s continuing and expanding service, we arranged a great sendoff for him. Many of you were there and got to hear him preach! And some of our retired clergy took the reigns to be a part of the service and will lead in prayers for Joe’s continued ministry. Thanks Jim Mishler and Linda Caldwell.
Joe and Juan are beloved members of our congregation. This is not like a change of pastoral assignment. So they will be able to connect and even participate with us at times any time it works for them.
We as a congregation have been blessed by Joe and Juan, and they report that they have been enormously blessed in their life in this congregation. So let’s do all we can do to bless them in the months and years to come.