Since that time, it's been a privilege to come back in a new role and learn from you again and I wanted to share some of what I've learned from you to encourage you as your search for a Senior Pastor enters a new phase.
Firstly, that a good welcome comes from a culture of welcome. I have seen, time and time again, that you are genuinely interested in people's stories and experiences. Many of you have been gracious enough to share some of your story with me, but I have also been deeply impressed with how open you are to one another. This is a vital part of our ministry in Christ's name, and I pray it will continue for you. "Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." (Romans 15:7)
Secondly, and relatedly, that you are a nurturing people who use your own gifts to discern gifting in others. The range of people involved in worship each week reflects this and shows you taking on the teaching that the body of Christ in the world today is taken on from each using their own gifts for the good functioning of the others. Everyone involved in preaching, leading, welcoming, setting up Communion, and everything in between is contributing to the ministry of Christ and bringing hope and light to the people. (If you are interested in joining any of the ministry teams, including Rainbow News, powerpoint, and welcome, please contact the Board.)
Northern Lights MCC is a powerful witness to the unconditional love of God, but this has come from your hard work and commitment to the Gospel. This is at the core of who you are, and has clearly been building over the past 26 years. It will serve you well as you move into the next phase of your ministry together.
"Above all things, love one another deeply, for love covers a multitude of sin." (1 Peter 4:8) Continue to do this, and the Spirit will help Northern Lights MCC continue to grow from strength to strength.
May God bless you on your continued journey; I will miss you, but look forward to hearing about what God has in store for you and the community in the North East.
My prayers go with you, all blessing,
P.S. THANK YOU for the lovely cards, gifts, and good wishes.