|Dear Family Life, |
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Seasons in our lives change as time goes by. Some seasons are easier than others, some more difficult.
This next season in Gina’s and my life has been approaching for quite some time now. We have sensed the Lord bringing to a close one season, so that a new one may begin – not only for us personally, but for Family Life of Penns Valley. I’ve shared with the Elder Team over the past year or so my desire to hire a pastor that could become part of the Family Life team that I could begin to mentor. Over the next several months, we will actively seek to do so as Gina and I step out of this position and move into a new season in our lives on September 1st.
We are not seeking another church to pastor at this time. Family Life will always be unique and special in our hearts and you can never be replaced. We have had the joy of seeing children grow into adults, we have been privileged to unite you in marriage and we have been among the first to hold your newborns in the hospital. We have grieved together over the death of our saints, we have prayed together at the altar, in your homes and in hospitals, we have rejoiced together in victory and we have laughed together in joy. You have supported us in ministry here in Penns Valley, on 2 bike trips across the country and around the world in Zambia and Uganda. You have rejoiced with us at the marriage of our own children. We set up every Saturday night together for 10 years, we purchased land and built a building together. We united together through a worldwide pandemic! You have been our family for 17 years this month! It’s never easy to leave home, but sometimes necessary to allow more growth, both personally and in those around you. Family Life is healthy and the ministry is good! We look forward to seeing who the Lord will bring this way to see the church continue to grow. We are not leaving because there is any type of problem, but simply because it’s time.
When we sold our home about a year ago, a good friend asked me, “so when are you moving?” At the time, we did not know. But at the beginning of September, Gina and I will begin a transition to Iowa. Many of you know that our daughter and son-in-law recently made a permanent move there to be near his family. An equal amount of you know how important family is to Gina and me. We left our Pittsburgh family in 1999 to come to State College and now parts of our family have moved on to different parts of the country. Moving to Central PA was an enormous step of faith for us then and this move will be an equally faith-filled step – but one that God is both directing and blessing us with. It is not easy to imagine going in a different direction, but we remain open, mindful and obedient to what the Lord has for us in this next season. In Iowa, of all places! Arizona or Florida, okay – but Iowa? This was not on the radar! Talk about a lesson in trust?
We know that the Lord has the perfect family in mind for Family Life’s next season – someone that will lead you, help you to continue to grow in Christ and to make a difference in people’s lives for eternity. No matter who pastors Family Life now or in the future – always make it your goal to grow closer to Christ and be someone that points others to Jesus every day!
Please join the Elder Team and I in prayer for direction and leading as we begin the search for the next pastor to lead this congregation. I know that I have my own hopes and desires for the gifts and talents that the next leader will possess, but thankfully, the Lord in His infinite wisdom knows so much more and has been raising someone up for this for a very long time now. I am confident that whoever He brings here to Penns Valley will be able to lead Family Life now and for future generations. Please prepare your hearts to welcome this family into your lives and homes.
Please also pray for Gina and I as we make this transition. Although we will experience a roller coaster of emotions in the months ahead, we look ahead with excitement and are fully trusting the Lord to reveal His plan for us as this summer unfolds.
As this new season begins for each of us, I pray that we would all remain in the race and one day finish well! Sometimes in a race, there is a baton that is passed from one to the next. This will happen later this year as we pass the baton on to the next one to lead Family Life of Penns Valley. But may we all be able to join the Apostle Paul someday when we each finish our race and say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
So, keep on running, keep fighting, don’t quit…don’t ever give up! And someday we will hear those words that we all desire to hear spoken, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
We love you,
Pastor K.R. & Gina