Greetings to you, the members and friends of St. Luke’s United Church of Christ. I am the Rev. Patrick Morris, and I will be serving as the bridge pastor at St. Luke’s for the months to come. As a bridge pastor, I will be working half-time and performing all the duties as your pastor. But I also will be walking with you as you seek a new pastor.
I have been in the ministry for 33 years. My wife Sharon and I are from Virginia. Previously, we were farmers in the Shenandoah Valley operating a dairy, turkey, and crop farm. In 1986, we left the farm in order for me to begin the process of becoming and ordained minister. We moved to Pennsylvania in 1990. In 1992, I graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary and was called as the senior pastor at St. Paul’s UCC, Amityville. I served in Amityville until 2008 when I accepted the call at St. Paul’s UCC in Fleetwood. I retired from full-time ministry in August of this year.
Sharon is also ordained, having served several churches in the PA Southeast Conference. Sharon also retired in August from her position as the associate conference minister of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference.
I do not have to tell you how our world has changed since March. The pandemic has caused upheaval in the lives of our families, at our places of work, in our schools, and as members of this community of faith. Hopefully vaccines will soon be on their way, ushering in a more “normal” world with the end of the tunnel insight. As your pastor, my intentions are to journey with you as we recover. I look forward to the day when I can look into the faces of people without a mask.
I cannot wait until I can go wherever I want, whenever I want, and do whatever I want to do without the worry of becoming infected with the virus. Until that times comes, I covenant with you to be the body of the living Christ at St. Luke’s. I promise to care for you, to teach you, to encourage you, and to guide you to the next new thing God will be doing in this congregation.
To that end, I wish you a blessed Advent as we prepare ourselves again for the coming if the Savior. May we be a people of Advent, waiting with full confidence that Christ will come and redeem us as the living Son of God.