“So, I hear that you’re retiring,” a friend said to me recently.
“Don’t use the ‘R’ word,” I replied.
“Oh, I thought you were leaving West main?”
“Well, I am at the end of May. But I’m not retiring from preaching.”
After a puzzled look, I explained that I am leaving local work, but seeking a more flexible schedule that allows for a broader ministry in the brotherhood. Although I will turn 70 in March, my health is good and I still feel very energetic.
Since my December post announcing this new chapter in our lives, some of our plans have taken shape. In addition to my love of preaching, are traveling and enjoying the fellowship of brethren in other locations. So, we are going to combine the two for a period of time.
This summer we are spending 7 weeks in Welland, Ontario, Canada. The church in Wellandport will serve as our “home base.” Their preacher and my friend, Michael Stephens, is my liaison to the Canadian brethren. We’ve already scheduled a gospel meeting, a VBS, a men’s class and some studies on “Evidences” at Wellandport. As time permits, there will be other opportunities throughout Ontario.
Following this, we will take our annual anniversary trip in August to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. This will take us to both Rome and Athens where we look forward to meeting and worshiping with brethren in those cities.
When we return we have Fall meetings already scheduled. In addition to meetings in Texas, currently, we have speaking engagements that will take us to Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. Possibly we could add one or two more meetings to our Fall schedule.
Sometime in November, we will make our way to Florida, where our daughter, Rachél and her family live. By then, our son, Kenny, and his wife, April, will have moved back to Florida, where she will begin her full-time medical practice. Since our children and grandchildren will be in central Florida, we anticipate making that our “home base” for at least 5-6 months a year. We are working on some potential preaching opportunities around Florida and maybe into the Carribean.
We already have meetings scheduled for 2019 and beyond and are looking to add to that schedule as well as speak on an appointment basis. Hopefully, the Canadian work will serve as a model where we can spend 4-8 weeks in various localities and offer support, encouragement and spiritual edification to the brethren while we are there. We want to be used in whatever way we can serve as the brethren and the Lord see fit for as long as we can.
The Shepherds and the West Main Church Family have been incredibly considerate and understanding of our decision. We are indebted to them for their support during this transition.
During this time we plan to continue ThePreachersWord. We’re looking forward to meeting some of our readers in other localities, especially in Canada and Europe, in the months ahead.
We solicit your prayers on our behalf for fruitfulness in the Kingdom and safety in our travels.
—Ken Weliever, The Preacherman