Retirees will reflect in pastoral letters


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Russell Currie is one of 22 clergy who officially will retire at the 2012 Annual Conference in Tulsa's Boston Avenue Church.

But after the ceremony, Rev. Currie will continue ministering at the church he has served for 24 years. This part-time Local Pastor faithfully has served the United Methodist Church in Dale, a rural community northwest of Shawnee. The denomination’s mandatory retirement rule is just a number for this 72-year-old. Christ’s call upon his heart is ageless.

In the evening worship May 28, the Oklahoma Conference will commend the retirees and will commission new clergy for ministry.

Yet it is not unexpected to find some retirees, such as Currie, choosing to extend their pulpit witness. For example, Stan Warfield retired at the 2011 conference and, within months, stepped up to interim leadership at Wickline Church in Midwest City.

This year’s retirees have been invited to write about their past journeys and future plans, and those stories will be printed in the worship bulletin.

Within the group, David Stewart’s career is longest, totaling 44 years. He entered ministry in the Oregon/Idaho Conference, and he has pastored at Bartlesville-Oak Park Church since 2006.

Retiring after 36 and 35 years of service, respectively, are pastors David Croninger and George Gilland. And Rusty Williams has ministered for more than a quarter of a century.

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