Milestones by Doug Meister

Milestones by Doug Meister

Today is June 12. Two days before Flag Day and a trip to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana with a group of young people and adults from the church. It is six days after the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 1944. Each of those events is important to me. Whenever possible, on June 12, I fly the Flag on the front of our house as a symbol that represents the dream of our founders for a United States of America. Holiday World is one of the nicest amusement parks I have ever visited; clean, friendly, reasonably priced, with free drinks and sunscreen.

While my father was not involved in the invasion of Europe on D-Day, he and six other men from our family were in uniform and “deployed” during World War II. Ten, if you include my mother’s family. On that day my father was somewhere in the Pacific as a member of the 37th Infantry Division preparing for the invasion of yet another island on the way to liberate Manila in the Philippines. Fortunately for our family, all of these men returned from the war intact physically, though some had residual effects that followed them for years. The same was true for the next two who went to Korea. Remembering these kind of milestones and the people who lived them are important for every American.

Then, too, June 12, holds a special place in my life as well. On this day in 1977, after graduating from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, I was ordained as a minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at the First Christian Church of Mansfield, Ohio. Three years earlier, after I received my B. A. in Religion from Bluffton (Ohio) University, I was licensed by the Ohio Society of the Christian Church as a minster and sent off to Tennessee (much to the chagrin of my Regional Minister, a graduate of Yale Divinity School!) So, this day marks the 42nd anniversary of my ordination. In a matter of days, I will have served with you here at Jeffersontown Christian Church for 27 years!

We have celebrated many milestones along the way; 27 Advents, Lents, Easters, Pentecosts, Fourth of Julys, Thanksgivings as well as births, graduations, marriages, birthdays, anniversaries, and deaths. We have done ministry in places close to home and far away; in prison and half-way house; in North Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri; at retirement facilities, hospitals, homes, and habitat builds; shared fellowship and ministry around kitchen tables, coffee tables, restaurant tables, picnic tables, hospital tray tables, round tables, square tables, rectangular tables and the table that makes us one.

Change is coming, true, but we will not stop being the church gathered at 10631 Taylorsville Rd., doing ministry with our neighbors and living, or at least striving to live, like committed followers of Jesus. I don’t mean to imply that it will be easy to do when I am no longer your minister; being a follower of Jesus has NEVER been easy. Just be present for worship, be present to each other, and be present to our neighbors. And, enjoy the journey!

 Diane and I will be doing some traveling to visit family and friends in various places as well as cemeteries along the way (it’s what happens when you’re partnered with a genealogist!) She also has at least two years of things for me to attend to around the house and yard. We will miss all the opportunities to sit around some of those tables with you and certainly around the table that makes us one, but it is part of the cycle of life for long term ministers. We love you all!

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