Porch sitting. The choo-choo is blowing by on the other side of the Hooch. Pine straw awaits spreading. Two bales a day is my limit. Playing with boys is more fun than that job. Birds chirping…please get off that branch and eat some grasshoppers! Yes, those buggers are back. Conventions being held at various places in the yard planning which flower to chew next. All the rain has things wonderfully green including the weeds which of course grasshoppers don’t eat.
Winds of change about to blow through this porch. Rev. Donnie Erwin-Brown, aka DukeBoy is retiring. June 12 at 11 A.M. is his last sermon at Shawmut UMC. I hope all of you who have shared this journey of his ministry will come to hear that sermon. Many will be listening from The Church Triumphant, aka the Saints, many of whom DukeBoy has said final words over. We hope to see some of those babies he’s baptized, couples he’s married, and kids he’s helped raise. Donnie has served five United Methodist Churches in his thirty years : Pell City, East Lake, Lanett 1st, Harrington Heights and Shawmut. He also directed the dining hall of the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega and was Headmaster of the Episcopal Day School in Talladega. He’s done a great job of feeding people over the years…a husband who loves to cook is truly a gift from God. Many of you had his food even if you didn’t hold membership with the UMCers. Come and help celebrate his ministry. He will be tickled to see you. His retirement plans are to play with the boys. They do love their Paw.
Someone said to me the other day..."You won't be a preacher's wife anymore.” Had to put my thinking cap on for that one…married 34 years…I remember slinging my stuff into boxes on the move to Pell City and thinking “I hate to move. I’m marrying a UMC minister. They move a lot.” Fortunately, Donnie has had relatively long pastorates so we haven’t moved a lot. We’ve actually lived in our current home for fifteen years. Our third “owned”home. We’ve also shared an apartment and two parsonages. Fortunately being a preacher’s wife has given me friends in several churches and cities. Two of the counseling jobs I held were housed in the churches we served: East Lake and Shawmut. East Lake helped raise my baby for 7 years with a daycare and a school on site. Guess there are lots of reasons to be glad to be a preacher’s wife.
Not sure what the future holds for this family but like the song says, “I know who holds the future”. Thanks to all of you who have loved our family through the years. Food, fellowship, shared worship, fundraising, mission trips, funerals, weddings, baptisms. Several of you have asked, “Where are you going to go to church?” The answer is??? We’ve never had this as a question. We will visit and save that decision for a later time. Hope to see many of you while we think on it. Peace for the journey and thanks to all of you who’ve been a part of it for our family.
Don’t forget June 12 at 11AM eastern time. Donnie Erwin-Brown preaches his final sermon “on the payroll” as a UMC minister, Shawmut UMC in Valley, AL. There will be a reception from 12 to 2:30 following the service for those of you who have commitments at other churches. Hope you will come and hug his neck. If you have a memory to share via email or a picture to send for a memory book please send to Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVP to Karen at email@example.com or 706-518-0640.