Today marks an important day in my life and calling. On this day in 2018, University Baptist Church unanimously voted to call me to serve as their next Senior Pastor.
A lot has changed in three years. For one, I never thought I would be a part of leading a congregation through a global pandemic. In reality, this last year probably feels like three or four years. So, I guess we are marking my fifth or sixth anniversary?
You trusted the discernment and decision of an extraordinary pastor search team consisting of Adam Ellis, Brennan Tice, Todd Justice, David Patterson, Sheri Wischusen, Leslie Kilpatrick, Glenn Linzer, Rebekah Odenwald, and Ken Tipton.
My prayer is that we have had many successes and failures along the way. That is a sign that we are doing something meaningful and making strides in faith to get there.
We have experienced a lot in my three years as your pastor. Any success should be credited to our faithfulness together in our discerning and following of God’s Spirit.
Over the last three years, we have leveraged UBC's sense of authentic community to build a strong trust, respect, and understanding of each other. We have promoted Deb McElgin from a part-time directorial role to licensing into the Gospel ministry. We closed one chapter of the MDO under the outstanding leadership of Kim Kwan, only to open a new chapter under the care of Amber Authement. We have reshaped the ministerial staff's priorities and roles, calling Eric Fulcher, Justin Langford, and Tanya Parks to serve alongside us. We have created a more robust office staff, supporting our ability to share our story and organize our initiatives.
As if these things were not enough, we opened ourselves up to the potential of strategic growth by focusing on how to connect with each age represented within our community, expanding our outreach capacity through the MDO and the Soccer Academy, enhancing how we connect with guests and exploring what it might look like to foster stronger relationships through shared-interest groups.
However, one of the greatest testaments to our congregation's character is examining our fortitude, faith, courage, and flexibility in this last year. We are stronger, more equipped, and ready for whatever next holds for us.
Today, I celebrate God's good work through you and our partnership in the work of the Gospel.
I am continually grateful and humbled by the calling this role holds. I look forward in great anticipation to what God has in store for us in the coming chapters. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your pastor.