May the peace of God be with you.
I want to take just a minute, and introduce myself. I am Richie Sanchez, the new Interim Regional Minister, for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Arizona. Our Search Committee, led by Regional Moderator, Brian Frederick-Gray, consisting of “leaders from across the depth and breadth of the Arizona Region” have called me to come along side you and your regional leadership as we move through this time of transition. In order to begin getting up to speed last week I began meeting with varied regional leadership and staff. To be sure we have lots to do, we will be discerning our appropriate next steps, and faithfully and effectively moving forward in mission and ministry.
Still, I am thrilled that the region separated time on July 29 to celebrate the longtime (since 1998) ministry of Denny Williams as Regional Minister and President. I am grateful for the ministry he has offered, and the heart he has given in this call. I could not be happier to have heard some of his plans for this next chapter of his life and ministry. Thank you, Denny! It is sometimes not enough to say for the almost twenty years, but this gratitude is expressed from many grateful hearts across this region. Well done!
It was a pleasure to meet some of our pastors, and regional leaders at General Assembly in Indianapolis, IN, just a couple of weeks ago. I am excited about getting to know this beautiful region and to experience our shared ministry in the days ahead. I’ll be seeking to have a visible presence in congregations, and meeting with all of our pastors. Please feel free to call / email me and introduce yourself and share any questions that you may have. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In her closing words, our new General Minister and President, Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens told this year’s General Assembly: “Let the work begin!”
Indeed, in our mission and ministry together, “Let the work begin!