A Word from Pastor Kathryn

in Faith

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Happy New Year!  The month of January is named for Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions who is often depicted as having two faces: one looking back, the other looking forward.  January is a good time to look back at where we’ve been and to anticipate the future.

Looking back, I am so incredibly grateful for my first six months at DUMC as your Senior Pastor.  I have been blessed by all of the people I have met in the church and the community, as well as the many experiences we have shared together and the relationships we are building.  I look forward to continuing to build relationships and grow in faith together as “devoted servants, drawn to Christ, and dedicated to making disciples.”

The Advent/Christmas season was such a special time at DUMC, and I marveled at the many different events that we shared---worship, parties, dinners, concerts, pageants and much more.  So many people worked with passion to make these events special; they overflowed with joy and faith and touched the Damascus community as well as our members.  As I greeted those who were arriving for the 5:30 production of the Living Nativity, one young boy (not a church member) greeted me with a big smile as he entered the courtyard and announced, “I’ve been here before!”  To which I replied, “And we’re so glad you’re here again.  Welcome back!”  Clearly, DUMC is someplace special for this boy and his family.  As we move into the new year and other important seasons of the Christian year (such as Lent, Easter, and Pentecost), I look forward to continuing to experience the many different traditions that make DUMC special, as well as creating new events and new memories together.

As we look into the future, not just as a local church but as a denomination, there are some important things ahead in the UMC that we need to keep before us.  The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of the UMC to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The General Conference is the top policy-making body of our denomination, comprised of equal numbers of laity and clergy from United Methodist Conferences around the world. 


The purpose of the special session is to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The 32-member Commission was authorized by the 2016 General Conference and appointed by the Council of Bishops to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.  Because this special session of General Conference has the potential to make major policy changes in our denomination, it is something of which we all should be aware.  Please see page 3 of this Beacon for more information on the special session and on opportunities to gather at DUMC to learn more. 


May God’s grace, peace, and hope surround you in the New Year, and may you share God’s love with others.


Grace and peace,


Pastor Kathryn


See You in September

Dear Congregation,

I can hardly believe that Summer is drawing to a close.  I hope that you had a wonderful summer and found time for rest, recreation, and restoration of your spirits.  I had a busy summer getting to know many of you in the congregation and celebrating our first worship services together.  Thank you for offering Pastor B and me such a warm and genuine welcome as well as taking time to meet with us and help us make a good transition to being your new pastoral team at DUMC.  All that you and the staff have done has greatly helped us to get off to a good start. 

As the old song says, “See you in September.”  It’s September again and it’s time to see and be seen.  It’s the season of Back to School and back to church as well!  Here are some of the things that will be happening in September:

  • Sept. 2– Our final summer schedule Sunday of worship at 9:30 am.
  • Sept. 6– “First Thursday” meeting night resumes for Trustees, Missions, and Children’s Ministry.
  • Sept. 9– We resume our regular worship schedule of services at 8:15 and 11:00 am with a special worship series called “Come to the Table.”  See full details on page #3.
  • Sept. 9– It’s Rally Day, a time for all ages to sign-up for Sunday school and to learn more about other ministry opportunities (see full details on page #4).
  • Sept. 12– Our Welcoming Wednesday Dinners resume at 6:00 p.m. NOTE: They are resuming on the second Wednesday in September to coincide with when our choirs resume rehearsals.
  • Sept. 16 Sunday school for all ages resumes at 9:30 am.  See class offerings listed at Rally Day on September 9.

These are but a few of the many worship, discipleship, and mission opportunities that will be starting in September, and I look forward to joining with you as we work to be faithful, growing disciples of Jesus Christ, ready to transform the world for the good.  See you in September!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Kathryn