Dear River Road Family,

It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation as the Minister with Children and Youth.  My plan is to work through the end of July 2016. This decision has come with a lot of reflection, discernment, and prayer.

What’s next for me and our family? We are at a point in our lives that we have an opportunity to explore some different options. While anything new often comes with some excitement, it also comes with grief over what has been and anxiety over what is next. We haven’t come to this part in our journey without great thought and care. We do have hope in those people who are part of our ever-growing family as well as our God who journeys in front, alongside, and behind us, encouraging us, holding us, praying for us, supporting us. The lyrics to one of my favorite hymns that is only sung at funerals is very appropriate to this stage in our lives – Let Hope and Sorrow Now Unite.

What’s next for the church? I’m confident that there are great things. A group tasked with looking at the youth and children’s position, as well as the youth and children’s sub-committees of the Board of Christian Education and Spiritual Formation, will be gathering to have some conversations about what’s next. Because I will be around through the end of July, my role will be more focused on helping with this time of transition.

I’ve never been really good with goodbyes. We will miss you. Thank you for loving our family. Thank you for your presence in our lives. It has been a privilege to walk alongside you on this journey – opportunities to laugh and cry and celebrate together.

One of my favorite passages in Scripture comes from the paraphrase of part of Matthew 5 from The Message translation. It is what you have taught me and I hope you continue to teach the world:

You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept…I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up to God, this generous Father in heaven.

Instead of goodbye, let’s use what goodbye originally came from – “God be with you.”