A message from Rev. Mike Barclay who will begin as the pastor of First United Methodist Church on July 1:
Greetings and hello to you in Christ’s name!
My name is Mike Barclay, and I am so excited that I have been appointed by Bishop Beard and the Cabinet of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, to be your pastor. I look forward to meeting you on our first Sunday together. It’s truly an amazing thing to be able to worship our God together.
I’m sure over the next few months, we will get to know each other, but I thought it might be helpful for you to know a little about me before the realignment begins in July. I’m the youngest of three boys, my Mom (who is still living) was our Grade School secretary, and my Dad was an Illinois State Trooper. I grew up in McLean, IL, just south of Bloomington/Normal on I-55. I have four daughters, who are all married and five grandchildren (#6 due at the end of April), ages 7 yrs – 1. My oldest daughter Rachel and her husband recently relocated from Brooklyn, NY to San Jose, CA, are the expecting parents. Daughters Grace, Hope and Rebekah, live with their families in Lawrence, KS. My oldest brother Jeff, is a pastor in Lawrence, my Mom has lived there the past 9 years, and is now in a nursing home, and middle brother Steve lives in Olathe, KS, with his family and is a fraud investigator with State Farm. I’m the lone Barclay left in Illinois!
I love music, playing and listening, and believe music has a way to reach to a deeper place in our spirit than mere words can achieve. Music was the avenue the Holy Spirit used to reach me with God’s love and grace. I enjoy sports of all kinds. Being from Central Illinois, there’s a mix of baseball fans — some follow the blue team, some the red team. All I will say about that is “GO CUBS”!!! When it’s racing season, I love the IndyCar series. The speed and skill is awe-inspiring to me. I like to take walks, both for exercise and the enjoyment of being outside, so I’m always looking for a peaceful place where I can stretch my legs and spend some time in prayer with God. It’s invigorating! Of course, my family is important to me, and I am blessed with such a loving, close relationship with them all. I can hardly wait to introduce them to you when they visit.
I will be beginning my 2nd year at Caseyville and 12th year of pastoral ministry in the IGRC. Along with the academic work I do at St. Paul Theological Seminariny, I bring with me practical experiences in ministry, being open to new and fresh ideas and embracing the ministry that you have developed. It’s an exciting time, yet it is also a time to grieve the leaving of a dear friend and your pastor. Please take time to reflect and thank God for her years of ministry with you. Until we meet, may the Lord bless you as you are a blessing!