The parsonage on Grizzly Peak feels a little bit like Mount Olympus these days. Ascending into the fog reminds me of the mountain top experiences of our biblical forbears. But an old song grandma used to sing proclaimed that "the God on the mountain is still God in the valley." It's coming down the mountain that matters most. Those biblical characters always came back down, transformed by their encounters with the Ancient of Days. As I've journeyed through my first week back at Epworth, I've reconnected with old friends and met lots of new folks, both here and at Trinity UMC. I've been reminded of the power and potential of a community living the gospel.
I have to name that my transition is not without grief. Having left a congregation that I nurtured--and that nurtured me for 5 years--there is of course a sense of loss in the parting. And, as familiar as Epworth is to me, there is a sense of the unknown. We might imagine that our brothers and sisters at Trinity UMC, with whom we are now yoked, are also experiencing a sense of grief and the anxiety. Pastor Kristin and I ask that you keep them in your prayers. As faithful followers of Christ, we're called to trust God through it all. Mountain or valley, God is with us, though sometimes unseen.
Transition remains a theme in our community. I want to let you know that Rev. Lacey Hunter, our Director of Youth, Young Adult and Outreach Ministries, has accepted a full-time call to ministry as associate minister of a UCC church. Her last Sunday with us will be July 28th. We celebrate her ministry with Epworth and honor her service. Epworth pastoral team and PSPRC are working collaboratively to identify potential candidates; and to ensure the future success and growth of these ministries. On Thursday a notice of Lacey's departure was shared with youth, parents, and young adults. We will officially bless and send her forth on her final Sunday.
In times of change the unknown and unknowable take shape or shadow. The good news is, where we go, we go together. Wherever you find yourself this day, know that God is present with you, with us. I want to encourage you in prayer and your Bible study. Let's take time to breathe and reflect; and we will begin to notice God’s work in, through, and all around us.
In the Name and Way of Jesus,