Making Moments

In Leonard Sweet’s book, SoulSalsa, one chapter is entitled, “Make a Moment.” Sweet writes …

There is one day in your life that will be your best day. There is one day in your life that will be your worst day.

It’s important to know when you’re having one of life’s best moments. And worst. Landmark both.

Joleen and I are blessed to have experienced several great moments on our journey together. Here are some of our best moments, moments we’ll always remember and celebrate, moments that have left a lasting mark on our lives …

February 18, 1992 was the day we met at Johnson Woods Park, a United Methodist camping/retreat facility in Cleveland, TN, where we were both students at the Church of God Theological Seminary (COGTS), in our pre-United Methodist days. Joleen’s student small group hosted a day at the camp/park for new students (I was a new student). The teacher/leader divided the group into twos. The group divided up a few times before the leader was happy with the way we did it — Joleen and I ended up together on the third try. Our “assignment” was to walk the trail in the woods and get to know each other a little bit. That’s how we met!

July 19, 1993 was “Ring Day,” the day I gave Joleen an engagement ring, on the grounds at the Chattanooga Choo Choo (Chattanooga, TN).

January 15, 1994, an unusually cold day in Cleveland, TN (15 degrees, as I recall), was the day we got hitched! Our wedding was the first wedding held at the still fairly young New Covenant Church of God, where we were attending (in fact, they worked hard to get the carpet installed in time for the wedding). Revs. Drs. Jackie and Cheryl Johns (pastors and seminary professors) officiated at our ceremony. Ironically, during our last visit to New Covenant, on September 30, 2007, we made our first public announcement of the referral of our baby boy from Korea (another best moment, below).

June 3, 1995 was the day we both graduated from COGTS with master of divinity degrees. Interestingly, having only been married about a year, we co-wrote our Master’s thesis on husband and wife co-pastoring. The title was, “Covenanted Together in Marriage and Ministry.” Mostly, it was an opportunity for us to dream (or try to figure out!) what our life together in ministry might look like.

July 1, 1998 marks the day we began pastoring in the United Methodist Church, serving the Royer United Methodist Church, near Williamsburg, PA. The years between graduation and this date were filled with both best and worst moments, but through them, God led us to be part of the United Methodist Church, a change for which we continue to be grateful to God!

January 15, 2004 marked our 10th anniversary. We were in Wilmore, Kentucky for our first class in the doctor of ministry program we had just begun. We figured, where better to spend our 10th anniversary than at school since we met at a school! Our fellow students, whom we had only met that week, helped make it a moment (complete with cake and balloons).

September 25, 2007 – While at Asbury for proposal hearings, we got a call informing us that we received a referral of a (then) 3 month-old baby boy.

January 29, 2008, a day after submitting first drafts of our final two chapters of our dissertations, we received the sudden call that our baby in Korea was ready for us to come and get him.

February 11, 2008 was the day we first met Ethan at his foster home in Korea. We spent an hour just getting a little acquainted with one another.

February 12, 2008 was “Gotcha Day!” the day we became parents of Ethan. Every year, we will celebrate two days with Ethan — his birthday and gotcha day.

With God’s help, we hope to continue making many great moments together!

What are some of the moments you mark?

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