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From Pastor David

 Celebrate the past, trust the future.
The first ten years that Chris and I lived in Pittsburgh, I went to the same dentist, faithfully getting cleanings and check-ups every six months.  I found him to be very professional, his rates were reasonable, and I liked his support staff.  Then one day I received a notice that my dentist had sold his practice. He was turning his patients over to a woman who had stepped away from dentistry for a number of years while her children were young.
I was not happy.  I felt sorry that chronic back pain and the need for surgery made it impossible for my dentist to continue, but I was sorrier for myself.  Now I would have to get used to someone else, and how could this new dentist be as good as the one I had enjoyed all those years?  I was skeptical and dreaded what the change might mean, but I was in for a great surprise.  Julie was every bit as professional as the previous dentist, and she was more personable as well.  The hygienist I liked still worked in the practice and so did the very pleasant receptionist.  In time the entire office was updated with new flooring, paint, and fixtures. And, the charges for services remained close to what they had been.
Are you feeling a certain disappointment, apprehension, or fear knowing that Diane Cornett’s last day on our church staff is May 13?  Add to that the recent announcement that Dennis Wood is seeking a new call, and it is no surprise that there are some unsettled emotions.  Every disruption to what is familiar and comfortable can create anxiety, especially when it involves treasured, long-term relationships.

It is only right that we celebrate blessings received from a ministry relationship, but consider that God may purpose something different from season to season.  To demand that tomorrow be a continuation of today is presumption.  “You do not know what tomorrow will bring . . . You ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:14,15).
Consider these impending changes from a different perspective.  Diane is responding to what she is convinced is a God-given opportunity to pursue full-time missionary service in the next season of life.  Should we not rejoice for this open door to pursue the strong desire of her heart?  Dennis was asked to continue serving at FCC in an expanded associate pastor role, but he feels strongly that God is calling him to a lead pastor position.  Doesn’t he deserve the support of our prayers as he seeks God’s direction and confirmation?

Trust God to give good gifts.  Is there any reason to fear that God may abandon us, that tomorrow will be a bleak, joyless day in the life of his church?  Is he now incapable of sending us bright, gifted, and committed leaders to serve the ministry needs of the church?  “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11).
God will not fail to bless First Church of Christ as we humbly pray and seek his best.  Do not think that you must replace relationships cultivated over many years.  You should cherish those and continue them, even over distance.  But, you can expect to be blessed, perhaps in a fresh way, by relationship with new leaders that God provides.
In case you are wondering, 
ministry to children and youth is one of our core values at FCC, and the Elders are intent upon maintaining a quality ministry to our children.  The necessary support and resources will be targeted to that end.  You can expect that staff leadership will be assigned to children’s ministry when additional staff is in place.  In the interim we are assembling a “CM Cabinet,” several of the current children’s workers willing to take additional responsibility for the administrative tasks necessary to maintain existing programs.  We benefit from the fact that Diane has a large team of workers committed to necessary functions through the end of 2018.
Please continue to pray . . .

  • Thank God for the blessings received through the ministry of Diane and of Dennis (and Susie).
  • Pray for Diane as she prepares to move to Madison, Wisconsin for her work with YWAM (Youth With a Mission).  Pray that she will receive adequate financial support.
  • Pray that God will disclose to Dennis and Susie the opportunity where they will flourish and make a great impact for the kingdom.
  • Pray for every servant worker who is contributing to the ministry, and for those taking additional responsibility during the interim.
  • Pray for the individuals God is already preparing to meet our ministry staff needs.
  • Pray for clear direction and discernment for the way forward at FCC.

See you Sunday.
Pastor David

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