To the members of Western Presbyterian Church,
For the past two years I have had the blessing of sharing a relationship with you, a relationship that was built on trust, excitement, hope and above all faith. God’s call for me to serve as your Pastor for Community Life has been one of the best gifts I have received in my life in ministry.
I will not be renewing my contract as Stated Supply Pastor and here’s why – I am the candidate for the position of General Presbyter for the National Capital Presbytery. The role of the General Presbyter is the executive head of the National Capital Presbytery which is the regional governing body made up of 108 PCUSA congregations in the greater DC metro area.
I don’t “officially” have the job until a vote at the presbytery meeting on May 21st. I wanted you to hear this news from me before it will be widely circulated throughout the rest of the presbytery.
I will be with you all in worship on May 19th and my last Sunday at Western will be June 2nd when I look forward to greeting you personally and celebrating our shared ministry. In the meantime, Laura, the Session and the Personnel Ministry Team are working on next steps to cover staffing at Western; please hold them in prayer and stay tuned to your email for more information.
Saying goodbye to a group of people that you love is hard. All of you have had a special place in my heart over the last two years. You have shown yourselves to be a congregation that is growing; a congregation that listens to the direction of The Spirit; a congregation that is willing to do the hard work of looking toward the future; a congregation that has caught the passion of what it means to be The Church; and a congregation that loves each other. I am honored that you have let me join you for this stage of the journey. The energy that I have seen in you will continue to move you toward the next place that God is calling you. You are an amazing gathering of God’s people who have been eager to become partners with Christ in the work of The Gospel in this world.
I also want to thank you for the generous and courageous work you ventured into through sharing me with Northminster. I’ll be sharing this news with them during our worship on Sunday morning. You allowed a struggling church the opportunity to have good leadership. You could have easily hired a part time pastor that would have been with you more often on Sunday mornings but your sacrifice helped Northminster get back on it’s feet and grow, something most churches in their position only get to dream of. I hope that this is just one step in a tradition of intercultural ministry, and that you find ways to continue.
My prayer is that you will continue the work that I have had the pleasure of seeing you begin. I also hope that the model of ministry that you all are in the midst of living out will be one that can be replicated throughout our presbytery.
John Molina-Moore’s news has filled my heart with both joy and sadness: joy that he will be leading our presbytery – and therefore us – in some new directions, and grief that his ministry won’t be as focused on Western and Northminster.
On Tuesday night, the Session will talk more about next steps for church staffing, as well as what will happen on June 2, John’s last Sunday, as we all give thanks for our last two years together. I hope you will be with us, as we send John off with blessings.
Grace and peace,