Yesterday, I mailed this letter to my congregation. It’s time for a new chapter!!
My time with you began as an experiment — a new staffing arrangement for a new era of life at Head of Christiana. First I was a guest preacher, then nearly a year as Outreach Associate, and then we set out a two-year contract for my position as Associate Pastor, which will conclude this August.
And what a time it has been! Together we have been through Vacation Bible Schools, worship services both familiar and new, Theology on Tap meetings, Girl Scout Sundays, congregational discernment times, bible studies, baptisms, funerals, weddings, harp concerts, an expanded choir, and so much more.
I have also grown a great deal during our time together. I have been blessed in my experience preaching and leading worship with you, stretched and strengthened in efforts at community outreach, continually challenged with improvement in administrative areas, and always moved by the ways you have let me into your lives and welcomed my pastoral presence in difficult times.
The time has come for me to grow in a new direction: I have accepted admission to the doctoral program in Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and will begin there as a Ph.D. student this fall. My last Sunday with you will be August 2, and I will use a few days of study leave and my remaining vacation days as I relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area and begin this new chapter.
I am not finished with pastoral ministry, but it has become clear to me that my calling exists somewhere in the intersection of the church as it has been with the articulation (and then practice) of what it means to believe in the contemporary world. Head of Christiana has been an invaluable place for me to begin formal ministry, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work in this unique community and get to know you, the devoted and talented people of God who have called this place home.
As with many transitions, mixed emotions seem only natural at this time! Every beginning is also an ending, and I will miss you deeply. But for now, I will remain a member of New Castle Presbytery, and will be very glad to see Head of Christiana’s continued growth and vibrant community spirit from afar.
Thank you so much for all you have meant to me! From the bottom of my heart, may Christ’s peace be with you.