2009 Monthly Letter
Partners in UpBuilding Ministries,
lot of feelings and thoughts are whirling within me as I write
this letter to tell you that UpBuilding Ministries is winding
down in its present form.
Having a total hip replacement in May required me to slow
down. That was hard for me to do, but the experience
was good. God allowed me to completely heal and to have some
un-hurried times with Him and Evie. The future of UpBuilding
Ministries was one of the topics the three of us considered.
who knows me, knows that I am not about to sit in a rocking
chair and practice my goose call. "Re-tire-ment" from ministry
is NOT in my vocabulary. "Re-treading" is. When
a tire is retreaded, a new rubber "tread" is added to an old
tire base. I was sensing that a time of "retreading" was on
the horizon for this 67 year old tire.
weariness from travels, the hesitation of financially-strapped
churches to book future dates, and the economic difficulties
many of our Ministries' supporters are now facing, were all
considered. Were these signs from the Lord indicating a time
for some realignment? I needed discernment and sought our
Board's prayers, counsel, and wisdom. Each member is a "positive
possibility person." We knew the Lord would lead and direct
3:1 spoke in a fresh way: "For everything there is a season."
I spent considerable time with the Lord reflecting on the
various seasons of ministry He has established since my ordination
in 1967. Each had a theme of "investing His Word in the
lives of others." Each had a beginning and an ending as
there was a five year solo pastorate at First Presbyterian
in Mora, Minnesota where we saw God double the congregation
size and enable the people to build a new sanctuary. Then
came 18 years at College Hill Presbyterian, marked by several
distinct seasons of ministry, three of which became national
and international in scope:
serving as an associate pastor with a most gifted and unique
designing and leading HELPER evangelism clinics
spawning small groups (Growth
inactive member (AIM)
as a regular chapel speaker for the Reds, Bengals, and Dodgers!
of new members (my Doctor of Ministry thesis)
partnering with Christ's Community in College Hill, a ministry
to the poor
leading cross-cultural mission
trips to 10 countries
founding and developing the
FATHERS Ministry in 1981
authoring Won By One and
For Fathers Who Aren't In Heaven
speaking at Promise Keepers
in stadium and after-stadium leadership events
birthday calling of membership
and partners in ministry since 1984
co-pastoring beginning in 1984
In 1989 the season for UpBuilding Ministries began. Over two
decades, we have "upbuilt" over 500 congregations.
Tens of thousands of men, women, children, couples, families,
leaders, and pastors have been impacted as evidenced through
the many "God-cidences" in the monthly letters.
two month's of praying and discussing the if's, how's,
and when's of such a major decision, the Board unanimously
confirmed that now is time for this Ministry to end and affirmed
that a new season is emerging within me. So what is it? We
believe the Lord is calling me to re-invest the gifts and
experiences given to me
in small to medium sized
congregations located in the Ft. Myers area, and
in the lives of young pastors
from around the nation by offering periodic mentoring sessions
in Ft. Myers.
There is a burning desire within my heart to approach pastors
and churches to whom the Lord will lead me and say: "Here's
a resume of what the Lord has done in my life over 42 wonderful
years. How can I serve you and your congregation? My Social
Security and Pension now enable me to offer the talents and
experiences God has given me to you and your congregation
at no cost. Would you be willing to pray about this offer?"
I would have jumped at this offer when I was serving as a
solo pastor at Mora, Minnesota.
behalf of the Board, I thank you for your belief in UpBuilding
Ministries and for providing faithful intercessions and financial
support to make it possible for me to share my gifts with
those who could benefit. You have been a vital part of UpBuilding
Ministries and what you have allowed the Lord to do through
it. I encourage you to prayerfully seek another ministry to
which you can now redirect your support.
UpBuilding Ministries will officially cease as a 501(c)(3)
at the end of 2009 when all outstanding bills have been paid.
Contributors will receive a year-end receipt. We are no longer
seeking contributions from our partners in ministry. I will
fulfill all of the UpBuilding Ministries' Weekend commitments
for the remainder of 2009.
has been a longer-than-usual letter, but I felt there was
much to say. As my next "season" unfolds, I want you to know
I am not saying goodbye. I will still seek to be in contact
with occasional email and snail-mail letters, reporting on
what the Lord will continue to do through my life. I hope
to hear from you as well. Our Florida address is 19400 Cromwell
Court #208, Ft. Myers, FL 33912-0385
I will continue to pray for you, and as God brings me to mind,
please pray for me. Each Weekend of late when I had been limping,
people would ask , "Ron, from where do you get your energy?"
My standard answer has always been: "The joy of the Lord is
my strength, AND the strength of the prayers of over 200 committed
partners is my joy."
God bless each of you as much as you have blessed me. Your
servant in Christ. Ron