The rock church on the corner received a new pastor on July 1. Pastor Joe Agne, who has served churches in Illinois, New York and Colorado, preached his first sermon at Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church on July 3. His sermon was "Longing to Belong."
Pastor Joe was engaged to lead the Cedaredge Church by the United Methodist Conference. The hiring committee is very pleased with Pastor Joe's commitment to serving the wider community, his deep faith, and his enthusiasm for serving in Cedaredge. Committee member Vernette Mackley commented, "He was a very personable, easy to talk to, and vibrant man. He was interested in all the events that we have had and would like to be involved within our church and the community. His statement that being retired was just not enough for his life, as he misses ministry, was an exciting thought for all of us!"
"I am looking forward to a first year of meeting all the people of Cedaredge United Methodist Church and people in the community. I have already met at the church with kids making Father's Day cookies for their dads and the butcher at one of the local grocery stores."
Pastor Joe requests recommendations for a place to have coffee each day to meet the community and wonders what specific people it would be important for him to contact. Send ideas to Pastor Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The most meaningful life," according to Pastor Joe, "is balanced with a life together and life for others. The same goes for congregations. We get spiritually bloated if our focus is on our own worship and education only. And we get emaciated if we are only serving others with no care for ourselves and our relationship with God."
To participate in Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church's "life together," Agne wants to lead a weekly Bible Study on the passage that will be the source of his sermon the next week. He plans to join the church's Saturday morning men's group, support the Sunday school and youth group, and encourage participation in the United Methodist Women's ministry.
He's impressed with the way Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church has a "life for others" in Cedaredge with the Thrift Shop on Main Street and the Overtime the church men lead for youth after the football and basketball games. He looks forward to joining church members in these and additional ways to serve the community and the world.
"I am enthused that Cedaredge is a growing community and expect our church will grow also," says Agne. Growth will come from new families, newly retired persons, single-parent families and single persons, including young adults. He wants to find ways to meet people with each of these groups.
In 2010, Pastor Joe moved from New York City to Colorado's Gilpin County, a county of about 5,000 people. He enjoyed rural living in Gilpin and looks forward to being a small town pastor in Cedaredge. "I know I will learn a lot from people and look forward to sharing ministry with lay people."
Pastor Joe and his wife, Dana Jones, have four children and five grandchildren. Dana is a journalist and quilter. A fun addition to their family is a "ferocious" cocker spaniel, Ellie.