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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Rev. Kevin Arensman will leave town for a new job

  • Packing up 6 1/2 years of life to move from one home to another is hard to do, but Rev. Kevin Arensman, senior minister at the First Christian Church, and his wife, Shannon, are doing it.

    “Our last Sunday here will be July 14,” Rev. Arensman said.

    He has accepted a call as senior minister at the Sayre Christian Church, Sayre, Pa., and will assume his duties around the first of August.

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  • Packing up 6 1/2 years of life to move from one home to another is hard to do, but Rev. Kevin Arensman, senior minister at the First Christian Church, and his wife, Shannon, are doing it.
    “Our last Sunday here will be July 14,” Rev. Arensman said.
    He has accepted a call as senior minister at the Sayre Christian Church, Sayre, Pa., and will assume his duties around the first of August.
    “We have three weeks to get packed, unpacked and ready to go to work,” Rev. Arensman said. “We are called to go and discover what God is doing there and join in. Shannon and I are excited about the opportunities ahead of us in Sayre. On the other hand, it’s a sad day for us to realize that our ministry in Pittsburg will be coming to an end. You forget about how many relationships you make in a community until you start to say goodbye. That’s the hardest thing about leaving Pittsburg.”
    He said that Sayre is a smaller community that isn’t too far from New  York City, but is out in the country in a heavily wooded area.
    “Sayre is located in a river valley of the Appalachian Mountains,” Rev. Arensman said. “It will be colder winters, but my wife and I still have our snowshoes and skis from our years in Colorado. I grew up in Michigan and got used to cold weather. You learn to enjoy it or you miss a good chunk of the year.”
    The couple still have to sell their Pittsburg house, which is located outside town.
    “This is going to be hard, because we loved that house,” Rev. Arensman said. “In Sayre we’ll live in the parsonage next to the church. They’re building us a pen for our dog.”
    He has become known for his Heartwood Turnings, hand-crafted items he makes from wood, and said he’ll take his wood-turning equipment with him.
    “They tell me there are a lot of hardwoods in the Sayre area, and with all the trees around, I should have good access to wood,” he said.
    And, of course, he’ll take his guitar and his music.
    “During my years in Pittsburg I’ve tried to lift up music,” Rev. Arensman said.
    He started an open mic night, and said it will continue from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays at a new store opening at 108 W. Third.
    Rev. Arensman has been performing with Dan Lingor, who took up Native American flutes after he retired as Mt. Carmel Medical Center administrator. Lingor and the Rev, as the duo called themselves, will have a possibly final performance from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Friday at Pritchett Pavilion as part of the Pittsburg Art Walk.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We’ll have Ronnie Galloway on mandolin, Marty Self on bass  and Kyle Simpson on percussion,” Rev. Arensman said. “They’re most of the ‘Junkyard Band’ that played on the CD Dan Lingor and I did, and we played together on open mic night for years.”
    He said that the group would be playing its standard repertoire, including some of his own compositions.
    “This will be a celebration of our time in Pittsburg,” Rev. Arensman said.
    He started the First Pitt Guitar Club at the church, and said it will continue. He also hopes that the After School Art Program, started at the end of the 2012-2013 school year, will also continue.
    “It was very dear to my heart,” Rev. Arensman said.
    He also originated the annual Horn of Plenty Food Drive, which benefits the Wesley House food pantry. Rev. Arensman said that Ellie Foster, pastor/director of Wesley House, and Brett Dalton will keep this event going.
    “They’ll take the food drive to  places I couldn’t go,” he said.
    Rev. Arensman said that the church will move to get an interim senior minister in place, then conduct a search for a permanent senior minister.
    “During the remainder of my time here, I will work with the congregation leadership and with regional staff to ensure that all preparations are made for the future minister and ministries of this church,” he said. “I’m confident that God’s blessing will be upon this congregation.”
    He and his wife are looking forward to getting to know his new congregation, but won’t forget Pittsburg.
    “I can’t be the pastor here any more because they’ll have a new pastor,” Rev. Arensman said. “But I can still keep friendships going, and keep folks in my thoughts and prayers.”

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