Grace to you all, and peace,

As I look back on the relatively short time since my arrival in September, I am forced to admit that much of my time and focus was on the physical move. That it was challenging is an understatement, and it took my time and attention away from where it should have been—on all of you. All I can say, as I have repeatedly, is that your patience and your warm welcome has been overwhelming and humbling. Jane and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Despite the challenges, I want you to know that my passion and enthusiasm for ministry has not dimmed. I am very proud to be your pastor and I am increasingly excited about the possibilities that exist as we move forward. My focus for the next year will essentially be three-fold:

First and foremost, to continue to get to know you all better, striving to be both visible to you and present for you. I welcome the opportunity to chat about whatever might be on your mind. Nothing is trivial, so please do not think that you are in any way, shape or form “bothering me” by reaching out to me for any reason.  

Second, I look forward to being able to teach, creating an environment that will foster and nurture spiritual growth, helping people deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. In short, I want to focus on discipleship.

Third, consider how we might grow the church, but not just in membership. I want to help the church find creative ways of “doing church,” ways in which we can be more effective, efficient and purposeful, doing so in ways that are spiritually invigorating and rewarding.

Fourth, begin the process of true discernment about the future of the church. This includes serious prayer and discussion, partnering with the Presbytery of Tropical Florida and the newly developed Vibrant Together Development Corporation. This process also includes looking at developing new relationships and partnerships, and taking advantage of the new opportunities that present themselves.

In closing, I’d like to thank the leadership and our volunteers, those who do most of the heavy lifting on a daily/weekly basis. You prove that ministry loves company! I would like to thank our staff—Cindy, Suzanne, and Lynda—for all you do, and on their behalf thank all of you for your gracious staff appreciation. God has provided us with everything we need to live out our calling; the rest is up to us. I believe in the church and that God has brought us together. I thank you for your continued care, prayers and support and look forward to moving forward into God’s future together!

In Christ,