Monday, May 25, 2009

Our Adventure to Belleview/Ocala

We spent last Saturday meeting folks from both Mommy's new church and Daddy's new church and getting the opportunity to tour all of the facilities and both parsonages. It was a wonderful exciting adventure and being able to see everything for himself definitely helped Parker to better understand what's involved with our upcoming move.

We started off at Mommy's new church, Belleview UMC, arriving there at 10:00am. There was a crowd of about 35 people in the fellowship hall, representing all different areas of ministry who had gathered to meet the new pastor and her family (And they even applauded when we walked in!). We spent some time getting introduced and asking some questions and then the SPR chair and the Trustee chair along with the current pastor led us around the property and gave us the tour. Belleview has four main buildings (fellowship hall, offices, educational classrooms, sanctuary) plus a small complex of buildings and ground boxes making up its Thrift Shop. Outside is also a picnic pavilion along with a basketball and volleyball court.

After leaving the church property we took a tour of the parsonage and then we went out to lunch. The SPR chair and her husband took us out to lunch at a great local restaurant and the worship chair and her two granddaughters joined us as well. It was wonderful home cooking and we had a great time of fellowship. Afterwards we made the 9.5 mile trip from Belleview to Ocala in order to visit Daddy's church.

We arrived at Druid Hills UMC at 1:30pm and there were five very gracious ladies in the fellowship hall waiting for us. We started off with a tour of the parsonage (which backs right up to the church property) and then went through the church facilities. Druid Hills consists of 4 buildings: fellowship and offices, library annex, educational wing and sanctuary. After the tour, we were served refreshments in the fellowship hall (the boys loved the fresh fruit and Mommy fell in love with a new drink called Half-N-Half!) While we ate, we visited and Daddy got the opportunity to ask questions about the church.

After our visits we drove Parker and Wesley past the First UMC of Ocala, which is only about 1.5 miles away from Daddy's church. First UMC has a wonderful preschool ministry and Wesley will begin attending here full-time in July and Parker will also attend for the summer before going on to kindergarten somewhere at the end of August.

We were going to try and look around at some more sights in the area, but the looming dark clouds helped us decide to head home. We got caught in an awful thunderstorm on the way, but made it safe and sound - just slower than we thought! It was a wonderful day of visits and we are looking forward to the opportunities that await us in Belleview/Ocala.

As far as the move goes, right now we're checking out the two potential schools for Parker based on the parsonage locations and trying to make the decision about which parsonage we will be living in. This week we also need to secure the movers and get boxes so that next week we can start the packing frenzy!