From the Pastor

thankyou

Grateful. I am so very grateful for the love and support this community has shared with our growing family. The Baby Book Shower was simply delightful. The company was excellent, the cake scrumptious and the extensive library of children’s books – so very thoughtful. I also learned that my ever expanding belly is more than 3 feet in circumference – yikes! – and that I cannot match up books with their authors to save my life – major fail! The girls’ bookshelf is overflowing with intentionally selected books. I can’t wait to start reading to Lily & Emma. Thank you.

Beyond this delightful shower, I am grateful for all the ways you care for us on a weekly basis. From checking on my oh so swollen feet, to insisting that I not lift even the lightest of things. It’s a humbling experience to rely on the help of others! But through your care, I feel loved.

I am especially grateful for your willingness to share your own stories of pregnancy and parenting. What an incredible gift to be invited into your lives, into your treasured memories, into your hearts through these stories. It is certainly a privilege and joy.

Just four more weeks and, as Sister Shelli said, “We are having babies.” I am grateful that you are included in this “we”. This whole process has helped me understand more fully the importance of community, and especially this bold, genuine, compassionate community of faith we call Celebration. Thank you for loving Matt and I so very well and loving Lily & Emma before they’re even born. Your faith-filled actions bring Christ to life, here and now.

With gratitude,

Pastor Jen

Farewell Just a Thought

“Now, compelled by the Spirit, I’m going to Jerusalem. I don’t know what will happen to me there…  But nothing, not even my life, is more important than my completing my mission. This is nothing other than the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus: to testify about the good news of God’s grace.” -Acts 20:22-24 (CEB)

springSo, this is it.

The days are growing longer and the nights shorter.  Lent is almost upon us. And then it will be Holy Week, and Easter, Memorial Day and Pentecost, the end of school and summer, and then it will be Fall. The next thing you know it’s 2016.

That’s how life seems to go. Fast. So fast.   And then, POOF!  It’s over.

As I reflect over the past 7 1/2 years of ministry together as pastor and people, all I can say is, “Wow! It went really fast!” I think back to September 2007 when we launched our first worship at Robison Elementary School— a dream becoming a reality. Hopes being hoped.  A people being formed into a household of faith by the Holy Spirit.

It wasn’t always easy. We hit obstacles. We had struggles as we found our identity and as we sought to follow Christ faithfully. Sure, we made mistakes. And we learned along the way.  But, I can also say that it has been a blast! Celebration is a congregation that doesn’t take itself too seriously… a church that laughs, and loves, and enjoys worship, and believes the best.

I wish I could take credit for who Celebration has become as a church. But I can’t. It was never about me. It was always about a God willing to entrust this Great Experiment called Celebration to us. And, it was about a people willing to be transformed by the Gospel, who were then willing to roll up their sleeves to bless and change the world around them with God’s love.

My friends, I will miss being your pastor! As I shared the Gospel with you and cared for you, you did the same for me. It was mutual.

And my hope for you as I take my leave is that you would never lose your spirit of adventure! That you would remain authentic, and quirky. That you would continue to be an incubator for leadership and a laboratory for ministry for the larger Church.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for the past 7 1/2 years. I love you all and I wish you the best!

And, that’s just a final thought.

+Peace and good,
pc