A Letter from the Pastor

When the Bishop called me back in 2016 to let me know that I would be appointed at First UMC

Hickory, I can’t tell you how excited I was about that call. You see, as many of you know, my Dad

and Mom had served this church back in the late 80’s and 90’s. They loved this place, but may I

venture to say not as much as Jamye and I love this place. First UMC Hickory has a very rich

tradition of loving God and neighbor, and you are teaching me that each and every day. I believe

that God is now bringing us into a new season of opportunity. I also believe that God is

challenging us to take a greater step of faith than we have ever taken before. During the

remainder of 2018 and all of 2019, we are carrying out a generosity initiative called “Love at First’s

Site.” This is new approach to fully funding the missions and ministries of First UMC is called a

One Fund. A One Fund puts all our spending for missions and ministries in one place, not spread

out over capital projects, budgets, and special funds. It means we will fully fund our budget, pay

for site improvements, and make the budget planning an easier process. My challenge for you is

to consider what that can mean for us as we talk about Love at First’s Site. Why do we love First

UMC? How do we experience God’s love at First UMC? How do we as a church show love? If

you took a picture of what God is doing here at First UMC, what would that picture be? I invite

you to join me on this journey as God is doing a new thing here at First UMC. My prayer is that

the God who has blessed us will be pleased with our spirit of generosity and commitment to First

UMC, Hickory. 


Grace and Peace, Paul