Thursday, July 09, 2009

Leaving Westminster...

I have two projects to attend to as I sit at my desk this morning. The first is to write a good-bye letter to Westminster and secondly, a hello letter to New Hope Community Church. Ecclesiastes 3:1 comes to mind: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. I think it is no stretch to add to the well-known list that follows that there is also a time to say, “hello” and a time to say, “good-bye”.

It has been 11 years that I have lived, worshipped, prayed, laughed, cried, rejoiced and struggled with the saints at WPC. There have been so many changes in the past 11 years that in many ways I still feel like I just arrived. I have had some of the best and some of the hardest years of my life here in San Jose. You have been very kind and supportive of me and my family. I will fondly remember camping, back packing, neighborhood kindness evangelism, coffee houses, youth mission trips, youth worship bands, Lenten Friday dinners and more. I will especially hold dear in my heart those of you who warmly welcomed me into your homes and lives as we sought to serve Jesus as a community.

Seasons end and new seasons begin. That is the way of life and the way of a God who makes all things new. Seasons do not need to be compared or be in competition, they just need to be what they are: times when God has moved in proper ways for that season. So God is doing a new thing in my life as I move to New Hope Community Church and God is doing a new thing in the life of Westminster as the interim pastor arrives. I am happy to announce that this Sunday during worship the session will be announcing the new interim pastor. He is a good man with solid experience and a love for God and God’s church. I pray that you will welcome the interim pastor and his wife as you welcomed my family so long ago and open your hearts with expectation as you enter the interim season.

As I close, I need to mention a few logistics about the next few weeks:
My last Sunday preaching is July 12, but I will be pastor until July 31. The interim pastor will begin August 1. As many of you know Rev. Nancy Schell, is required to step down as Parrish Associate when the Senior Pastor leaves. Nancy’s last Sunday in worship will be July 19, but she will function as Parrish Associate, visiting the sick and meeting with the deacons, until July 31.

Again thank you all! Stay close to Jesus as His faithful disciples! I look forward to hearing great things about Westminster as you enter this new season under heaven.

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