A Farewell from Pastor Clayton

It has been a real joy to be able to serve at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church the last four months. It is a greater joy that Pastor Seung Hae has improved to the point that she can return to her place of leadership. We praise God for this and continue to pray for her full and complete healing. My last day at PVUMC will be Sunday, December 31 and I will passing the pastor’s baton back to Pastor Seung Hae that night.

I was surprised when our District Superintendent, Rev. Sarah Calvert, contacted me and asked if I might be willing to help as an “Interim Pastor” at Pleasant Valley UMC. I asked if I could have some time to pray about it, but it didn’t take long for me to say yes. I felt God had opened a door of service and I wanted to help as best I could.

It has been a blessing to be able to return to pastoral leadership, to preach and lead worship, to be part of the PVUMC men’s group, the Wednesday night prayer group, to sing in the PVUMC choir. Most of all just the blessing of getting to know each of you and to grow in faith together. There are so many I want to acknowledge will just a few by name: Trace has become a dear friend, and is a gifted leader. He does so much to make our services rich and beautiful and inspiring. I see God at work through him. More than once he spontaneously chimed in with music or a chorus that was just the perfect piece to draw us closer to God. I also want to thank Jay and all the IT team. They do so much to make worship happen both here and via livestream.

In the office, Lou is so dedicated to the church and always ready to serve. Not just in the office but all around the building. When we had a funeral recently, Lou was the one who was here from beginning to the end. I’ve especially seen his work ethic on display this week as he has prepared bulletins for three services and news letters for two weeks, all in the space of just a few days.
He hasn’t done it all alone. Linda Arsenault is also right here, folding and sorting and helping out however needed. I thank God for her as well.

Another dear soul of the church is Linda Bridges, who helped keep me informed about folk who are sick or in need. God has given her a big heart for service, and I know many of you have experienced what I am talking about.

And, finally, I thank God for each of you for your faithful support of PVUMC in so many ways. We are not a large church but God is using us to be a place where God’s love is shared week by week through worship, service and belonging. I am thankful for each of you. God is so good and every day God is working for good in the world. We are blessed to be part of it all. So now I will be returning to my home congregation, Grace United Methodist Church in Manassas. Back to my Sunday School Class and choir and Wednesday Bible Study Group.

I will miss you. I praise God for each of you and our time together. I pledge to continue to keep you in my prayers but also pledge to step out of the way so Pastor Seung Hae can return fully to her place as pastor at PVUMC. God has blessed you with such a wonderful pastor, rich in faith, and with such a gift for fervent prayer. Such a wonderful gift! May God bless you all.


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