Thursday, February 7, 2008

Humbled and Grateful

This email went out to PCC today. Yesterday you read my words. Today you can read my pastor's.

Good Afternoon Church!

On January 16th, during our weekly meeting, Matt Nightingale informed me that God was calling him away from PCC. His final Sunday with us will be on March 30th. As we explored the stirrings within Matt’s heart and the dynamics of his new calling, I found myself beginning to grieve, but in agreement with Matt that God was indeed bringing this chapter of his life and ministry at PCC to a close while God was opening a new chapter for him, Luanne and the kids.

I was overseeing Student Ministries when Matt first candidated at PCC. I was struck with the passion he brought to singing and the way he engaged our body in singing before the Lord. As we spent more time together in the coming months and years, Matt’s depth, competence and leadership backed the voice that has led us to God’s throne Sunday after Sunday.

I could fill pages chronicling the many contributions that Matt and Luanne have brought to our community, but I am saving that for his send-off party. Suffice to say, we are grateful to have had the privilege of witnessing Matt’s development and growth, and it truly is with high expectations that the Nightingales will be used in great ways in God’s Kingdom.

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Moving Forward

God is clearly leading us, as well as Matt, into a fresh direction of worship where we embrace new Sunday Gathering formats that minister to the unique heart language of our diverse communities we are called to serve. We have already started the moving forward process with the Council Officers; Barbi Hutchinson, Council Chair for Worship Ministries; John Seybert, Director of Operations; and Evelyn Johnson, Pacific Southwest Conference Superintendent for the ECC. The process looks like this:

1. Celebrate Matt and ensure a God-honoring departure.

2. Create an interim plan and structure that maintains our standards, values and serves the ministry plan for PCC in our worship gatherings.

3. Creatively and prayerfully develop the infrastructure that will best serve Worship Ministries for the direction God is calling us to for the future.

4. Seek the personnel called by God to serve Him at PCC through the newly designed structure.

We will not seek to replace Matt; he is too unique and his ministry was too impactful for that to happen. We will be seeking God’s new and best provision for the future He has for us. I am excited at the opportunities we have before us here at PCC.

In closing, can I ask you a favor? Would you commit to praying daily for PCC and the process to restructure and re-staff the worship department? Would you mark your calendars now for March 30th and plan on coming to our send-off celebration for the Nightingale family at 7:00pm?

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While we cannot tell with certainty the future God has for us, I can tell you that I am convinced that God has great plans for PCC that should cause each of us to drop to our knees in humble worship for the grace, power, and love that God has for PCC. I look forward to experiencing that future with you.

I Love Being Your Pastor!

Gary

P.S.: As we do with all departing Pastors, if you wish to bless the Nightingales with a love offering in appreciation for their eight years of ministry here at PCC, you will be given the opportunity at the celebration for them on March 30th.

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