“For Everything There is a Season” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
Partners in Ministry in the Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota Conference:
I am writing to share that my time working with you and among you will soon be drawing to a close. The Search Committee and Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Conference have named me as their candidate to be their next Conference Minister. As a matter of fact they are announcing this to the Conference this very day. On August 4th, I will join them at a Special Conference Meeting and the Conference will act on this recommendation. Pending a favorable outcome of that Meeting, I will be submitting my letter of resignation to Brigit immediately. While timing details are still a little fluid, it looks like my time formally serving on the Tri-Conference Ministries staff will draw to a close the weekend of September 29th and 30th.
In sharing this news, there are a few other things I need to say:
- The season of working in the South Dakota Conference and more recently in the Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota Conferences that I have had has been professionally challenging, fulfilling and rewarding. I am nothing but grateful for all the gifts and graces you have offered. My time among you will influence my practice of ministry each and every day going forward. And I would add that there feels to me there is some serendipity (perhaps something of God at work) in the timing of this transition. A couple of major projects I have been involved with for years (the Dakota Association lease with Simply Smiles and our fabulous West Central Regional Youth Event) have drawn to a close in the last couple of weeks. I cherish everything this season among you has been but I also see clearly that God is calling me to a new place for a new season.
- Among the many gifts I have received has been working with your Tri-Conference Ministries staff. Brigit, Jonna, Karen, Jo, Diane, Kerry, Laura and Sam are all amazing at what they do. I mean that. They are truly amazing at what they do. I pray that the gifts they bring to the adventure you are on together may never be taken for granted. Let me in particular say a word about Brigit and Jonna. I have never worked on a ministerial staff where we have both gelled as quickly and become deeply devoted to one another as thoroughly as I have with my two Tri-Conference Ministry colleague. I have not one doubt that you have the right foundation for the new staff you are building. God has graced you abundantly
- I know that my departure could be misconstrued as a statement about what we are doing together as a Tri-Conference. Please don’t foster that narrative. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe wholeheartedly in what we are doing. I believe God is at work in it. I believe that the Spirit has some wonderful surprises in store and that the churches of our conferences will be a bit more prepared because in this season we have learned how to be more adaptive. I believe new ways for ministering to Christ’s church and the world will arise in the months to come. And I will be cheering for it all, even if from a distance.
- Not only do I believe in what God is doing, but I believe in what God is about to do. In this I am referring to the arrival of new staff. I am confident that God is already at work to bring you the right people for this season (and I trust the Search Committee to be in tune with what God is doing). That said, I must say that once my time serving you draws to an end I cannot and will not continue to offer you any of the services associated with my current role. You will soon have dynamic new leaders among you. I encourage you to invest fully and thoroughly in what they have to offer you in this new season.
- Finally, while again there are many details in fluid motion, there is a possibility that my family may be remaining among you for a few extra months after I depart. As you have always done, I would ask your prayers, support and care be with them while we are apart.
Thanks you so much for welcoming me to minister among you in this season that we have had together.
Yours in Faith,