Notes from the Pastor Jeremiah

Pastor Jeremiah Thompson

Hello, I would like to introduce myself, my name is Rev. Jeremiah Thompson, I am honored to be your new pastor.  Feel free to just call me Jeremiah or Pastor, which ever you prefer.  Within a week and a few days I and my family will be completing our move to Malta, and moving into the parsonage here.  We are very excited.  Let me introduce the rest of our family as well.  My spouse is Rev. Megan Thompson, she is also an elder in the United Methodist Church, and she is the pastor of Steward and Creston UMCs, I believe some of you know her already.  We have two children, Abiella is 8 and will be going into the 3rd grade at the Malta School, she’s excited to start meeting people, and perhaps joining girl scouts and 4-H.  Our son Owen is 4 (and a half as he’d be sure to say to you), he will be starting kindergarten in the fall, he’s looking forward to living in a house with stairs (something neither of our children have ever had before.)  Finally, I suppose I should mention our dog Theadora, Thea for short, she’s active, loves, loves, loves people, and will bark a lot if you come to the door.  This move is a great blessing for our family, Megan and I will now both be able to be home every night, since our churches will be so much closer together, and this will be wonderful for us and for our children!

Beyond family life, I want to share a few other things about myself.  I was born in Springfield, IL, my dad (Herb) is a retried United Methodist pastor, and my mother Suzanne is a retired teacher, they live in Kankakee, IL.  I grew up in several United Methodist Churches around Illinois.  I graduated from Kankakee HS,  then studied at the U. of Illinois in Urbana, with a degree in History and Religious Studies.  I then took a masters  of Social Science with a history emphasis from the University of Chicago.  I then did two years as a domestic social justice missionary with the United Methodist Church, one year in Everett, WA, and a bit more than a year in Winfield, KS.  In all these I had felt a call to ministry which I finally answered, while in mission service.

I met Megan in Seminary at Boston University.  I graduated and returned to Illinois in 2007, and we married in 2008 the year of her graduation.  I served 6 years as an associate pastor in Mahomet, IL, 4 years as pastor of the Famer City and Weedman UMCs.  Then we were allowed to seek appointment in this conference so at to be closer to our parents, and sisters (as Megan’s family all lives in Southern Wisconsin, and my sister is in Chicago with her spouse.)  I served two years at Wesley UMC in Sterling, but the distance between our appointments proved difficult with young children so when Malta came open we rejoiced at being offered this appointment and to be able to serve closer together.

I bring a deep passion for bible study, preaching, missions, and social justice with me.  I look forward to making calls, and getting to know you all at church, or over coffee at Martha’s.  Relationship is such a part of living as Jesus teaches, and healthy loving relationships are what make a strong and healthy congregation.  I bring a variety of experiences and passions in ministry among them camping ministry, youth ministry, hospital chaplaincy, and mission trips.

I know we are all in a time of transition as Malta and Malta NW UMCs merge into one congregation, and as you get a new pastor.  I am excited for what the future holds.  I ask you all to be in prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we together seek to grow in faith, invite people into relationship with God, and seek to serve and bless our community and world.  Please if you’d like to talk give a call at 815-592-3764, or email me at castiger1@gmail.com, or look me up on Facebook and send me a message.  I am eager to talk to as much of the congregation as possible, and hear from you what you believe God is calling us towards as a congregation.

May God bless you, and I look forward to meeting you and being in ministry together!

In Christ,
Pastor Jeremiah Thompson

PASTOR JEREMIAH’S
AUGUST 2019 MESSAGE

When I was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church in June of 2010, Bishop Gregory Palmer asked me, and the others being ordained many questions.  I don’t remember the exact wording of all of them, but I thought of one of them as I was sitting down to write my newsletter article for this month, don’t quote me on the words, but the question went something like this.

Will you be a good steward of time, not trifling it away, neither spending too long an any one place than is absolutely necessary, nor to short a time. 

This question came from John Wesley when he commissioned preachers to go out and share the gospel of Jesus Christ across the British Isles, and to what would become the United States.  As I am getting settled in as your pastor, I wanted to give you an idea some of the things I am doing with my time, times you can communicate with me, and other ways to be in touch.

In general, I will be in the church office from 8:00-10:00ish on Mondays, 9-noon on Tuesdays, and 8:00-11:00 Wednesdays.  A few explanations on those times.  On Mondays I usually have a meeting around noon, so I need to allow time for that.  On Tuesdays, I need to get my weekly allergy shot so I try to do that first thing in the morning, and on Wednesdays, I plan to go over to the Senior gathering at the village hall around 11:00.  On Thursdays I plan to make calls to our shut-ins and others.  I also a couple of times a month have my covenant group meet in Dixon over lunch.  Covenant groups are a group of pastors who meet for prayer, support, conversation, and to help each other grow in faith an as pastors.  I will also be at the church on Wednesday nights for the prayer group at 6:30 PM, please join us!  I also plan to continue the Saturday morning breakfasts at Martha’s at 8:30 on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays, we have done that one for men one for women, but we could all just meet together if people would prefer, I am open to that.

Much of ministry happens outside of the office, and not on a totally regular schedule; for instance I often write and or practice sermons in the afternoons, or evenings.   If you’d like to talk to me and these office hours are convenient for you (and for those of you working 9-5 I fear they likely aren’t) please don’t hesitate to call or text me at 815-592-3764, or email me at castiger1@gmail.com.  I am happy to set up a time to talk with you in the afternoon, evening, on Saturday (even an early breakfast) as needed.  If you need to call or text me on a church matter, I ask that you call between 8 AM and 8 PM (as that is around the time, we are trying to make sure our children are in bed.)  However, if it is a pastoral emergency involving the hospital or life and death please call me at any time!

I  have made a few hospital calls since I started here at Malta, I hope I don’t have to make many more because we all will have perfect health, but since that is not realistic, if you let me know you or a loved one is in the hospital and would like a visit, I make every effort to see you as soon as I can.  I also have done a couple of home visits to shut-ins and hope to be able to visit all our shut-ins every 6 weeks or so.  If you know someone who has recently become a shut-in or moved to a nursing facility who needs to be added to my list, please let me know.  I also am happy to have other people join me when I make calls, so if you’d like to do that please let me know.

Finally, as we move into the fall, there are some other things that will be beginning.  We will be starting Sunday School after church on September 8, and I want to support our teachers in whatever way they need.  We will of course have several meetings of our regular committees, in addition to nominations, and preparation for our church conference in the fall.  I promise you we will have an Advent study of some sort in the weeks before Christmas, and if there is interest I would very much like to have one or more bible studies this fall, if you would be interested please contact me.  Finally, I am seeking to do some outreach and possibly set up a bible study with students at Kishwaukee Community College, we will see if that pans out.

Finally, I want to ask us all to be ambassadors for our congregation.  We are sadly now the only congregation in Malta.  I ask all of us to reach out and invite people to participate in the ministries and worship of our church.  Also, I encourage everyone to get to know someone new.  We live in a community with new folks moving in, and even if we’ve been here a long time, I doubt any of us knows all 1200 people in the village, I encourage you to get to know your neighbors, not just so you can invite them to church, but so we can all help this community grow in Christ like love.

Blessings fellow children of God,

In Christ,

Pastor Jeremiah