After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you. . . . 17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning.
I love the imagery in this verse - especially towards the end when it gives us great hope for our lost and hurting world. For a very long time, I have known that our church is one that is willing to make great sacrifices in order to reach more people with the Good News of God's love and grace. This is a very difficult announcement for me to make. In the United Methodist Church, pastors are appointed each year to serve in specific mission fields and/or churches. I have been more than blessed to to have been appointed to serve The Journey for each of the last ten years. However, as of July 1, 2017, I will begin a new appoinment and ministry as the Senior Pastor of Bandera United Methodist Church in Bandera, TX.
This means that our family will be leaving this amazing church that we so dearly love and the community that has been our home for a decade. While we were not seeking a move, as United Methodist we commit to go where we are sent. Ten years ago, it was difficult for us to accept the call to leave the church that I had loved and served for over a decade and to step out into the unknown and start a church. Looking back, we are so very thankful that we were able to trust in God's plan because this experience of starting The Journey and our work together in meeting people where they are and leading them on the journey to fully follow Christ has been more amazing and life-giving than we could have ever imagined. We are and will forever be overwhelmingly thankful to have been blessed to be part of such an amazing church and community. As usual, God faithfully proved that His plan is so much greater than what we can even hope or imagine.
And we TRUST and CLAIM that same truth now. While our hearts break to leave our friends and family, we are prayerfully calling upon God to show us yet again that His plan is greater. There will still be some time for goodbyes and see you soon's. AND, God's work with The Journey has only just begun. We truly believe that the very best days are still ahead. Please join us in praying for the Bishop and the Cabinet as they faithfully choose the next pastor to guide and shepherd this amazing church on to reach even more people for Christ. This church is so amazing and is poised to make even greater breakthroughs for God's Kingdom. We fully believe and trust that The Journey is prepared for the incoming pastor to lead you all into the next phase of ministry and we cannot wait for the day that we can step foot into the worship space of the new building of The Journey United Methodist Church.
Finally, I would ask that you be in prayer for our Advisory Board - made up of Greg Moore, Joel Stone, Trish Cremers, Markus Terwilliger, Sherry Christensen, Jodie Erickson, Sean Phillips, and Sabrina Alcala. This will be a very critical time in the life of our church. While we are very strong, it will take every last one of us to push through this and achieve the things God desires for us as a church. I implore you to remain faithful and steadfast to the vision and work that God is doing in and through our church. I will be available for you to ask any questions or express any concerns (or even joy!) - and the board is ready and available for you as well. Please know that I love you, but our God loves you so much more.
I could not be any more proud or thankful to serve as your pastor. Thank you and thank God for you!