RBC Welcomes Rev. J. Loring Carpenter
Rumney Baptist Church welcomes Rev. J. Loring Carpenter as the interim/transitional pastor. Rev. J. Loring Carpenter has served congregations and missions for over 45 years. God has led him to pastor many churches in transition, a camp and conference center, a Christian school, and maritime ministry locally, nationally, and internationally. He desires to serve where God leads to strengthen Kingdom ministry. He lives in Mendon, MA with his wife MaryAnne. Together they are blessed with three grown children and seven grandchildren.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Into my sixth year serving the church, I was already one of the longest-serving pastors in memory. The five years prior to my arrival had been a time of upheaval with one catastrophe after another. Yet God had blessed our ministry with significant growth, things were going well, and we were excited about how God was growing His church.
I was at first surprised when people started asking me, “When are you leaving us?” I realized it was an expression about their hope the relationship would not end. In the past, when things were going well something drastic occurred. They figured it was about time to expect the worst (true Red Socks fans were they).
Believing all our lives are in God’s hands and convinced that no pastorate is forever (It is God’s call and God’s timing), my response startled some. “Yes, I am leaving, either in a box or at God’s call to serve elsewhere. By the way, you will be leaving here also in God’s time.” After this tension-releaser, we could joke about it, realizing as disciples we are blessed to be part of churches and relationships that change and flow through life, hopefully all for the glory of God.
I reflected on this during a recent conversation with the Elders of RBC. In this church are retired pastors (though I am not sure retirement is Biblical). You have had temporary pastor, supply preachers, and numerous settled pastors, and now an intentional interim pastor. Yet, consistent in all these has been the key word – PASTOR. All have been people called by God, following Christ, and endowed with a variety of gifts to serve as pastor at a specific time in the history of RBC. No matter what they are called by title, all are pastors, and all have a defined time in leadership of the church.
Someone recently asked what I would like to be called; Reverend, Pastor, Mr., etc. I am not one for titles, so at school it was Rev C, on the ships it was Fr. Carpenter, and to most I am Loring. Most importantly, I would merely prefer to be called – don’t be a stranger. That’s the point of the discussions I have asked you to have, hoping to meet everyone briefly in the next few months. Please, sign up and let’s try and get to now one another in the fellowship and love of Christ.
In Service of the King,
Rev C; Loring; Pastor