Praise of Joy
by Pastor Teresita
We all want joy, but at times we may miss it. Mainly because JOY is an abstract concept that is often misunderstood. I understand joy as a daily choice in all the things we do and all the places we go. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is active in our lives we become aware the power of joy in the midst of any circumstance.
As we prepare for my departure as your pastor I wanted to share with you all the moments of unspeakable joy I have experienced while serving at Totowa UMC.
I love the 105 Church St. – God-size moments of worship in the Sanctuary, gentle nudges of the Spirit standing in awe of the lights that come through the stained-glass window at sunrise and sunset. I have enjoyed the conversations around the table at Cheyney Hall. The joy of being productive in my office space.
Freedom to Experiment! – You’ve allowed me to explore, experiment, and fail: worship experiences, new hymns and songs, Pokémon events, Coffee House Ministry, children’s program with Dilli Dalli’s, prayer vigils, prayer call, Totowa Day booth, Brew & Ashes, self-defense class, fundraisers, service projects, VBS, and many, many more “try-its”.
Welcoming New Life! – Celebrating milestones with Jack and Donna Murray’s family; the birth of Mason, Kayle and Mason’s baptism. Welcoming the Wendolowski’s, especially Carly’s baptism and her sweet coos and “Hi!” during and after worship! Jeff Hinko, who has become part of our family! Seeing Alana grow in faith and love for Jesus.
Talent and Artistry! The poetry of Helen, Betty, and Doug; musical gifts of Joyce, Alexa Mary, and Barbara P.; the handy work of Mark, Nancy, Don, Bob, and Doug; the hospitality and service of Ruthie and Linda, and Agnes’ delicious baking, and others.
Joy in Teamwork –The support of our team was a life saver! Carol who was MY pastor on more than one occasion. Maureen’s efficiency made my work easier. Janice’s cheerful disposition and kind leadership. My good friend, Bob, who quickly responded to building/parsonage emergencies, together we minced theology and mission of the church in many conversations; Renee who took on the task of newsletter editor and has done great work for two years now! Lynn whose follow up skills ensured we stayed on task; Jim’s prompt responses preparing for reports; Nancy, our treasury, stewardship, organizational, get-things-done extraordinaire. A secret someone, whose name ought not to be mentioned, who handles recycling, COSTCO runs, and other tasks; including amusing me with jokes and trivia questions. And last but not least, Pam, whose faith and devotion infused our worship experiences with kindness, love, gentleness, and care.
MR. CHUCK WILLER – Do I need to say more? He is the grandfather I never had. Always first to tell me I am beautiful, and on few occasions when the sermon was particularly good, he would wink and say, “Pastor Post, save that one!” God broke the mold after He created Chuck.
LADIES LUNCH – Oh, what delicious fun! It only took me a year to join in, but when I did I was glad. Thank you, Sue, Eileen, Barbara C., Ruthie, Helen, and Lynn, for so many good times. I have learned many a thing from you!
ANONYMOUS NOTES IN MY MAILBOX – Thank you for teaching me that some things do not require a response from me.
CUMAC MISSION TEAM –Serving at CUMAC with you all has been a blessing. Nancy, Mark, Chuck, and Ruthie: your commitment to serve is a testimony that the Holy Spirit is a force to be reckoned with amongst us at TUMC.
PARTNERS – Wonder Years; specifically, Rosangela who has been so generous with our church and my family. Ms. Meredith and Ms. Christina, who were amazing teachers preparing Alana for Kindergarten! Whole Life Church, Pastor Odom and Lady Odom for your invitation to preach, and our prayer vigil together after the shooting in Dallas. Ethan! Catie! Elijah! General! Mary! and William! Thank you for working with me.
MY FAMILY – Kenny who is the best partner a pastor could have. Thank you for helping me with the projects you told me not to do but I did anyways. My daughters: Dyanne who served in many Coffee Houses and Dysere who helped solidify our partnership with Passaic Valley High School. My mom who accompanied me in many pastoral visits. And Alana my little partner in ministry, who many times God used to inspire, comfort, and encourage me. I am running out of space, and it may be that I forgot something or someone. In my time left, I hope I get a chance to thank you all and celebrate the joys we shared!
With Love, Teresita