This Summer marked the one year anniversary since I preached my first sermon as pastor of Scottsburg UMC. It has been a wonderful year for Terri and me serving God together with you. I truly believe that God is using His Word to cause us all to grow spiritually in our love for Him and for one another. That is certainly my desire. It has been a privilege to get to know so many of you so much better over the course of this past year. The kindness which the church has shown to us will be eternally appreciated. Without your prayers and support over these months, we would not have been able to make it. Looking back over the events of this past year reminds us of how much has been accomplished. We have been busy. I appreciate the willingness of the people of this church to be involved in our community ministries. From our Vacation Bible School, Bible studies, Chapel Prayer time on Tuesday, Christmas and Easter cantata, Wednesday craft time, my first Smorgasbord, community Art festival, pitch in dinners, and other activities. Indeed, our church is blessed with many willing workers who do what they do for God’s glory.
The first year of a pastorate is a time of learning. The pastor is learning the congregation and grows in recognizing the spiritual needs that are present, as well as developing a vision for the leadership of the church. The congregation is learning the pastor and his family, especially the pastor’s leadership and preaching styles. Having spent this year learning one another (as well as doing a lot of great ministry together), I look forward to the coming year being one in which we continue to grow in our knowledge and love for one another while reaching out across the community and around the world with the proclamation of the gospel. Please pray that God will keep me faithful to what he has called me to be and do!
From September Newsletter 2017
1 Thessalonians 5:11; “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”
I was recently talking with a man in a Star Bucks where I had been enjoying a cup of coffee as I waited to meet with some fellow pastors. In the casual way of being friendly, the man across from me and I began to talk. We were exchanging general information, but then he asked me why I was in town. After I told him I was a pastor, he responded in what has become a familiar way, “Oh, really. Huh.” But then he continued “I think that being a good person and following what God says is what is most important. You don’t have to go to church to be good.” I agreed with him, to a point.
There is something very important about going to church. It is something you can’t get on your own, regardless of how closely you follow God’s word. That thing is community. The church community can be incredibly powerful or destructive. When the church community is one that upholds people who are sick or broken or doubting without judgment, it is doing its work. When the church community is one that raises children to believe in big ideas and a big God that can sustain them through their entire life, it is doing its work. When the church community is one that challenges the good Christians to be even better, and to walk closer with God and God’s people, it is doing its work. When the church community is one that has diversity of beliefs and allows people to disagree in a kind and supportive way, it is doing its work. When the church community is one that includes everyone, to whatever level their abilities permit, in the mission of the church, it is doing its work.
There are many destructive things that church communities can do, but only if the people within them choose that way of being a community. God chooses life and hope. Our communities should do likewise, by how we treat each other both in the church walls and outside of them.
I hope that this man will one day find the value of a church community, not because someone encouraged him with their words to do so, but because they showed him with their actions how powerful they can be. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loves us and by his grace gives us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
Shalom, Pastor Greg
INTRODUCING PASTOR GREG & TERRI… (first Sunday in ministry at SUMC July 2, 2017)
It is with humility but with great joy that I take this opportunity to introduce myself to you as your new Pastor. My name is Gregory Waggoner and with my wife Terri, we are looking forward to beginning a new adventure in ministry. For the past two years, I have been the pastor in Rising Sun/Quercus Grove/Aberdeen UMC, Indiana. I have a history and passion for serving in small churches, small group ministry, mission work and enhancing relationships within a church and the community. As for my personality, I am easy-going, light-hearted and optimistic. I enjoy reading the Sunday funnies, keeping up with various sports (hockey), and quality time with my wonderful family.
I am from Anderson, Indiana where I graduated from Madison Heights High School in 1980. Most of my work history is in the area of social work, retail management and food service. However, I did have short stints in debt collections; carry out liquor stores, convenience marts and factory work, with a majority of my time with Meijer Inc. (10+ years.) I have been a pastor in United Methodist churches since 1997, when I was called to supply the pulpit at Grace UMC in Elwood, Indiana. It was also during this time that I returned to school to complete my Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian education at Anderson University. After my graduation from Anderson, I was appointed to Christland UMC in Marion, Indiana. While in Marion I continued my education at Christian Theological Seminary graduating in 2009 with a Master of Divinity. After completing my education I was appointed to Morocco First UMC and commissioned as a Provisionary Elder. In 2013, I was appointed to Atwood Otterbeing UMC and was ordained a Full Elder in Full Connection at Annual Conference. After ordination I was appointed to Rising Sun/Quercus Grove.
I am married to my wife Terri and together we raised her daughter Adrian who is married to Thomas Steele and currently lives in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma with our three grandchildren Aden (14) and Aubrey (10) and Benton 5 months. My wife Terrie has extensive experience as a Social Worker and is an expert at being a grandma.
My hobbies include; reading, spending time with my family (especially my grandchildren), watching ice hockey (Detroit Redwings), and spending time on Lake Michigan (South Haven area) when possible. I am hopeful that as your pastor here at Scottsburg UMC, I will be a long-term blessing to the church and the community. My primary goals as your pastor will be to develop relationships, provide genuine spiritual direction, and live transparently before you. I will never claim to be perfect or have all the answers, but I am one of God’s servants walking by faith. I am excited to get to know every person and family at Scottsburg UMC on an individual as well as collective level. Please feel free to stop by my office or contact me as I will delight to listen, offer support or insight, and/or share a few laughs. Since relationships are the foundation of all we do as a church, my family and I are thrilled to open our hearts to you and pray you will be inspired to open your hearts to us as well. Shalom.