Final Newsletter - March 2023
Newsletter – March, 2023
Greetings from the desk of the Pastor! As we prepare for a pastoral transition – I have a few final notes I’d like to share with you all. First, although the changes coming do involve good-byes – I hope you can see it as an evolving relationship rather than a farewell. In the next few weeks, I get to move on from the relationship status of “pastor” and transition to “brother in Christ.” You will have other shepherds to care for your spiritual needs, but I will always be a friend who loves God and loves you.
A few years ago I had a friend on the internet call me a “simpleton” in an endearing way. He said, “you have a gift of explaining complicated things in a simple way.” I know a lot of people see “simpleton” as an insult – but I took it up as a badge of honor. I use the label “Pastor JJ – The Simpleton” in a lot of my online presence. As many of you have discovered, I’m a very “online” person – and one of the great things about the modern age is that it is easier than ever to connect with friends over long distances. In a separate place in this newsletter I’ve detailed a number of ways to stay in touch with my ministry and the various content I create as a Pastor. I have a website (where I run my blog), a youtube channel, several podcasts, and a presence on almost every social media platform: facebook, twitter, instagram, tiktok and more.
As far as direct contact goes, I want you to know that my cell phone number and new home address are available in the church office and if you would like that information – just ask Rose in the office. My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The pastor email for Flushing (email@example.com) will move to the new pastor, if he choses to use it. After March 15th, I won’t be able to check that email any longer. I also wanted to give a quick note on where I am going and how it came about. Starting in March I will be a pastor at a church called Aldersgate Church. I had many friends who went and looked up the church and came back very confused – so I’d like to explain. Aldersgate Church is one church with two campuses (and when they say “campus” they mean separate church building). Some people were asking me if I was going to be a “college pastor” at the university campus. But some churches use the word “campus” to refer to a second location. (I know that’s very confusing). There is Aldersgate Midland Campus and Aldersgate Cardinal Square Campus – two locations, one church.
The Cardinal Square Campus is in much smaller and located in northern Saginaw, near the Saginaw Valley State University. I will be working at both Midland and Cardinal Square, but my primary responsibility will be the little building in Saginaw. I will not be the lead Pastor, but rather I will be responsible for the smaller Cardinal Square Church. I report to the Pastor who leads the Midland Campus. While I hope to do some outreach at the college campus – I am not a college pastor.
Also, there was some confusion about denominations. I heard someone share a rumor that they thought I was going to a different church in the United Methodist denomination. But that’s not true - Aldersgate Church is a Global Methodist Church. On paper they are still a United Methodist Church until Annual Conference, but they will change the name on the building in June. I would not leave Flushing to go to a different United Methodist Church. As I’ve said before, I’m not leaving a church, I’m leaving the whole denomination.
Perhaps I’ve only made it more confusing with so much information flying around 😊 – but let one thing never be in doubt. I love this church and all the people in it. I believe that there is a future for the methodists in Flushing to carve out as a traditional-leaning United Methodist Church. Like the revival we saw at Asbury University – God is up to something wonderful, and his presence can be felt in our church. My prayer for all of you is that you keep your Eyes Up, Flushing – because we ARE the church. But until then, I’ll see you on Sunday.
How To Keep In Touch With Pastor JJ
Website: www.thesimpleton.org I have a website where I collect and share all of the content I create as a Pastor. There’s even a sign up where you can add your email and get updated every time something is posted on the blog. It’s probably the most comprehensive place to find me. Professional Facebook Page: Pastor JJ – The Simpleton If you’re on facebook there is a page where a lot of my content gets shared. It’s a very handy way to keep tabs on the content I create. Youtube Channel: Pastor JJ – The Simpleton
Youtube is where all my videos go! Whether it’s videos of the Sunday sermon, my tiktok channel or just a short Pastor’s moment devotion – it’s all stored on youtube. You can subscribe to the channel to get updates every time I post a new video. Sermon Podcast: The Simpleton Sermon Podcast I also have a podcast available on spotify or apple podcasts where my sermon audio is posted. It’s the same thing as the videos from youtube, but in podcast audio format. TikTok - @pastorjj_thesimpleton I have a TikTok channel where I create short videos to provide simple answers to tricky questions that kids in the church have asked. Some of those videos get shared to the youtube channel as well. Twitter and Instagram: @jjmann17
I also have a presence on twitter and instragram under the handle @jjmann17 – if you use those platforms, you can follow me to get any updates I post on those sites. Family Podcast: The Mannschrecks! My wife Sara and I do a comedy Christian commentary podcast once a week where we share stories, play games and laugh a lot. It’s available wherever you get podcasts under the name “The Mannschrecks!” We drop new episodes every Friday morning, and it’s a great way to keep tabs on the more casual, non-pastoral side of our family life. We also have a twitter page, facebook page and Instagram for the podcast under the handle @themannschrecks .