A Pastor Describes Her First Day in a New Community

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Having attended a workshop on transitioning into a new appointment, I kept remembering the stress put on the importance of your “first official day.” “You only have one first day,” the workshop leader had said. “Use it well.”

I am your new pastor, and I wanted to call you on my first official day. I am honored to be your pastor and look forward to getting to know you. I want to thank you for all you mean to this congregation. I need your prayers and help to be the best pastor I can be.

I spent the morning calling key persons in the congregation. Some I had already met while others I had not. My message was the same to all. “I am your new pastor, and I wanted to call you on my first official day. I am honored to be your pastor and look forward to getting to know you. I want to thank you for all you mean to this congregation. I need your prayers and help to be the best pastor I can be so that our church can be everything God wants it to be.”

That part was easy, after I got up the courage to make the first call. Everyone seemed both surprised and pleased to be hearing from me on the first day “with all you have to do.”

The next part might not be so easy. A suggestion from the workshop for those of us going to small towns was to make an appearance at some key locations such as the Town Hall. My community was custom-made for such visits since it had a classic configuration of businesses and public offices in a small area.

I nervously approached the Town Clerk’s office. I waited outside long enough to pull out my notes from the workshop and practice a few sentences. Then, with courage in hand, I entered. “Hello. I am the new pastor in town. I am honored to be a part of your community. Our church wants to serve the whole community so I wanted to meet you.”

After getting over the shock of having a new pastor visit, everything was all peaches and cream with the clerk and everyone else. What a great first day I had!

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