Over the last several days, our home has begun to take on a new scent.  At first I couldn’t quite identify the unfamiliar smell wafting throughout the various rooms.  It wasn’t the lingering aroma of a meal we’d recently shared.  It wasn’t the unpleasant fumes of teenage sneakers.  It wasn’t the glorious fragrance of the flowers on the counter.  And then it hit me.  Our home had begun to smell like cardboard.  More and more boxes have begun to overtake our home, and now in fact, dominate as our décor and side tables.  With a robust inhale and a soft chuckle, I scanned the living room and acknowledged that I am indeed a Methodist minister, and tis the season for new adventure.  It is with great excitement, cardboard, and bubble wrap, that my family and I are preparing to come to Shawnee to know and serve the great people of your community, and especially St. Paul’s.  We are thrilled about this new adventure and all that God has for each one of us in our time together.

Bob Goff, author of the book Love Does, writes, “Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure.  It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us.  God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made.   And then, leaning over us, He whispers, ‘Let’s go do that together.'”

We have been impressed by the abundance of hospitality that we have received from the leadership team at St. Paul’s, as well as Rev. Kris Tate and his family.  We have been warmly welcomed and are eager to meet the rest of the St. Paul’s fellowship.  I am confident that the new adventure God is inviting us on is going to be an exciting and life-giving one that will be all the richer because we will do it together.

My family and I have been serving the community of Calumet and the church of Calumet UMC and Red Rock UMC, for the past four years.  We have embarked upon remarkable ministry adventures together and have witnessed God’s abundant goodness and faithfulness.  Together we’ve built thriving youth, children, and senior adult ministries.  Together we’ve been in mission around the world.  We’ve grown in our discipleship and have made a lasting impact on the community.  I am deeply grateful for the people of Calumet, OK and the time we’ve shared together, but I am excited for what God has planned for St, Paul’s and how I can be a part of the good that is already happening there.

I’ve been in ministry since 2007, but have been a lifetime Methodist.  I was ordained in 2016, and am currently looking forward to the conclusion of my doctoral dissertation and subsequent graduation from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C., in 2018.  I am a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and Saint Paul School of Theology in Oklahoma City.  Home for me is Colorado, but Oklahoma is where I have made a life and a family.  Tate is my fantastic spouse.  He’s an artist, musician, and writer.  Together we have four children:  Kyler (18), Elissa (14), Ashlyn (11), and Aidan, who will turn 11 before our arrival.  We have a dog, Beagle Boy, and a cat, Prudence.

I am thrilled to continue the work that you and Rev. Tate have been involved in, as I know his leadership has been a gift to St. Paul’s.  With every box we pack, we are saying a prayer for the Tate family and for you.  May God bless this time of transition that it may lead to opportunities of celebration, growth, and richness of experience.  May the adventures God has for us next be ones we are eager to do together.  May the smell of cardboard be the evidence of things hoped for but not yet seen, and may God be given the glory in all things.

“Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.”  Hebrews 11:1, CEB

Rev. Tiffany A. Nagel Monroe

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