In the summer of 2014 I sat down to write my first newsletter article as Canal District Superintendent. I thought, “How do I begin? What do I say?” I realized that I already knew many people from the churches, since we had lived in the area for much of our married life. The folks of the churches in the Canal District were wonderful in making us feel at home, and accepting us as friends. So, I began that first newsletter article by saying, “Greetings Friends!” In the years since then, I’ve begun each article the same way. The people of the Canal District continue to be friends; even if we don’t see each other often, even if our encounters are not always pleasant. I think we’ve come to know each other, respect each other, and appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
The typical term for a district superintendent is 6 years. That term will be up for me this summer. A Bishop can extend a superintendent’s term beyond the 6 years, if necessary. Bishop Malone has informed me that she will be extending my term for another year.
Even after almost 6 years in this role, I still feel like I’m trying to figure things out. There are things about this role in ministry I enjoy; encouraging pastors and congregations, strategizing new ideas for ministry, being the support for pastors on the front lines. There are also things about this role I don’t enjoy; serving as supervisor for colleagues who I deeply respect and admire, being in “middle management,” having to accept that some problems are not fixable. Over the years, we have got to know each other. I’ve got to know pastors and churches, and you’ve got to know me. We are who we are; warts, failures, weaknesses and all.
When I came to the end of that first newsletter article, I thought, “How will I end the article?” I’ve always said, “Love ya’” to family and friends who are dear to me. I thought, “That’s it. It’s not very professional…but it’s true.”
I’ve come to love you, and I have felt your love. You have accepted me, put up with me, forgiven me, and extended incredible grace to me, as I’ve tried my best to function in this role.
So, I end this article the way I ended the first; with an expression of love for all those who I’m privileged to serve. Looking forward to another year together.
Canal District Office:
Rev. Ed Peterson
800 E Market St.
Akron, OH 44305
Phone: (330) 252-0299
Fax: (330) 252-0297
Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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