While this blog has primarily been devoted to sharing sermons week after week, I’m excited to share bigger news here today. I have accepted a new call to serve as Associate Presbyter for Small Church Ministry and Technology in the Presbytery of New Hope, so I will be leaving my work as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone and stated clerk of the Presbytery of New York City at the end of August.
I am very excited about this new position, as it will enable me to bring together a number of my skills and interests in service to small churches throughout eastern North Carolina. In this work, I will be able to integrate what I have learned in working with my own small congregation and other congregations across New York City and beyond as I resource and connect congregations in this new place in the years ahead.
Leaving New York City is bittersweet. I have come to love my adopted hometown over the eleven years I have lived here. There is something very special about this place that gives it a special energy and unique vibe that just cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world. I will miss the church and presbytery I have served, the good food and drink at nearly every turn, the amazing cultural options that have filled my spirit time and time again, and the wonderful people who have filled my days with meaning and hope. I am especially going to miss the incredible privilege of singing with the New Amsterdam Singers and the great fun that has come from being a season ticket holder to the New York Red Bulls.
There is much to do in the days ahead: celebrating, eating, drinking, packing, soaking up everything this city has to offer one more time. I know that my story with this city is not yet over—I will certainly be back to visit, especially since some of my closest friends are here! Still, as I celebrate this incredible time in this amazing city and look ahead to the exciting new things coming up, I am a bit sad to leave all this behind.
I leave New York City with eleven years of incredible memories—many good, a few not so good—but always with great thanksgiving for these days here. The words of the apostle Paul to the church at Philippi echo in my head as I remember these years here and all the incredible people who have shared even a little part of this journey along the way:
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
For those in NYC, the First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone will celebrate these years of ministry together with a festive worship service and celebration on Sunday, August 21, and the Presbytery of New York City will gather for a reception marking my three years of service as stated clerk on the evening of Monday, August 22. If you are in or around NYC and would like to attend, I would love to have you there, so let me know what else you need to know to join in!
It is great to have people walking this journey with me through this blog. While I will be preaching a good bit less, I will probably have a few more things to say about other issues in the years ahead, so keep reading along! I look forward to sharing this pathway with everyone in the years ahead.
Peace and love,