As I look back at life I am amazed at all of the twists and turns. Some have been pleasant. Others have been downright terrifying. I sometimes better appreciate the dull and mundane days because of the upheaval and turmoil created by dramatic or traumatic events. While I never want to remain in a rut because that is the "way we have always done it," there is something positive to be said for having a daily routine without extreme deviations.
It was on November 1, 2009 that I experienced a dramatic change in my life as I moved from Missouri to Wyoming. I accepted a newly created position for the Diocese of Cheyenne as the Director of Pastoral Ministries. It was an opportunity to build and shape a ministry from the ground up. While experiencing a little trepidation at the monumental task set before me, I was also excited to begin a new adventure. These past seven years have presented numerous opportunities to learn, to grow, and to build up the Kingdom of God. I am extremely grateful and blessed.
My heart is filled with gratitude as I reflect upon all the steps in life that led to this moment in time. Family and friends always help shape us. My hometown community in Old Monroe, Missouri, especially Immaculate Conception Parish, was instrumental in providing a foundation of faith. I am grateful to Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri for an excellent education. The solid formation and training I received from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Paul VI Institute leading to my ordination as a deacon in 1999 continues to serve me well.
My work experience in the secular world prior to moving into ministry taught me some very valuable life skills. The various roles I have held since moving into ministry has assisted me in developing a comprehensive vision of effective and fruitful ministry. I am fortunate to have the opportunities now in my current role to preach, teach, and minister in a wide range of areas all across the great state of Wyoming. As I looked at the list of speaking engagements (www.deaconvernon.com/speaking-engagements.html)
that I have completed in the last seven years since moving to Wyoming, it reminded me of just how exciting this move has been. The administrative duties of my role consume a lot of time, but it is when I am with God's people that I truly feel energized.
With a grateful heart for completing seven years of ministry in Wyoming, I simply say thank you to everyone who has had a hand in impacting my life through the years.