Geneva United Methodist Church
Friday, June 22, 2018
Make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
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A message from our new pastor

Rev. Randy May from Akron will become pastor of Geneva United
Methodist Church effective July 1, 2018, when Rev. Bruce Hitchcock
relocates to become the District Superintendent of the Ohio Valley
Bruce asked me to prepare a short autobiography to help you get
to know 
me before I arrived. Boiling my whole life down into a single
page is no easy 
task, but here goes. I was born and reared in
Granville, Ohio, and grew up in 
The United Methodist Church. I
attended Denison University, where I earned a BA 
with honors and
majored in political science and modern languages.  I earned a Juris
Doctorate from  
Vanderbilt University Law School, and have been a
licensed attorney 
in Ohio for over 20 years. I earned a Master of Divinity
with a 
specialization in intercultural contexts, and a Master of Practical
Theology with a self-designed specialization in Hispanic ministry at 
Methodist Theological School in Ohio. I am currently a provisionally
ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, 
working toward full
I am single, and have never been married. I have one sister and two
brothers, and each of them is married and has two children. My
parents, Bob and Darlene Bailey, and Warren May, are all still living.
All of my immediate family live in Ohio, mostly in the central part of
the state. I have two cats, Frodo (Siamese) and Loki (a red
Abyssinian). I play trombone and flute, and have a bagpipe I would
like to learn to play. I am bilingual in English and Spanish, and have
also studied French, German and Biblical Greek. I like to read,
travel, watch movies, listen to music, and attend theater and concerts,
hike, lift weights, snow ski and work outside in the yard.
I have served in three churches. In my home church, King Avenue
UMC, I served in many ways before seminary, and then served for a
year as student pastor during seminary. I also served as a student
pastor for two years at Powell UMC. I am currently serving as senior
pastor at Firestone Park UMC in Akron, Ohio, where I am
completing my third year.
My theology is God centered and Trinitarian (God in three persons -
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer). My faith is scripturally based and
focused on the law identified by Jesus as the most important – love
God and love your neighbor as yourself. I view the Bible as a
divinely-inspired guidebook designed to help humanity understand
how to love and be in relationship with God and other people, and not
as a text book. I love John Wesley’s ideas of grace and good works,
and how they help us to walk in the way of Christ. For me, worship
is central to faith and discipleship, with all missions, ministries and
evangelism organized around and supported by worship, scripture
and the UMC’s mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the
transformation of the world. I believe every Methodist church should
strive to live out the UMC slogan: “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open
Doors.” And I believe that God loves every single person as a
beloved child, and that God never stops trying to bring all of us home
to be together.
I love and will miss the members of my current church, just as all of
you love and will miss your current pastor, Bruce, when he leaves.
Change is difficult for us, and we all go through a period of grief
after a big change occurs. But change can also help us to grow, to
see things in new ways, and to die to our old selves and be reborn 
into new life. Jesus calls us to pick up our cross and follow him
every day, and then he gives us the gift of new life in which to do it.
I am so excited to be coming to Geneva to get to know each of you,
and to walk with you as we travel our journey of faith together. May
God bless and keep you always. - - Pastor Randy May