On November 12th, I received a phone call from my current DS, Dale Mendenhall. The conversation started with Dale saying, “The Bishop has a new appointment for you.” At the time, I was racing to make it to the credit union before they closed so I could deposit a check and get some cash. I quickly said, “Um, can you say that again so I can make sure that I heard you correctly.” Indeed, I had not made an error in my hearing. Dale asked me to call the DS of the new Northwest District, Craig LaSuer and that he would have the details for me.
Later that evening, I called DS LaSuer and he spelled things out for me. The appointment would be as an associate pastor at Lafayette Christ UMC, focusing on youth and contemporary worship. As he spoke about the appointment, my interest was definitely peaking. It’s a strong church in a rapidly growing part of Lafayette. There is a lot of potential for growth. The church has a strong group of young families, awesome children’s ministry, and just too many good things to list.
He scheduled a meeting for the following week with Scott Mann, Christ UMC’s senior pastor. I really enjoyed our time together and felt like Scott is someone I could easily work with. So, the meeting went well and we decided to move on to the next step of the process.
On Monday, November 23rd, Emily, Jocelyn, and I headed over to Lafayette to meet with the staff parish committee (Sammie stayed with my parents, Jocelyn sort of needs to be with her mother at this point). The meeting could not have gone any better. We really enjoyed meeting some of the people from Christ UMC. Both Emily and I felt great about the meeting. After a time of discussion, DS Lasuer came out and said that the church felt really good about it and asked how we felt. Obviously, I felt good too. So, the appointment became official.
Yesterday, the appointment was announced in both churches. It’s a bitter-sweet moment for us. We love Center Chapel. We have been amazingly blessed by this congregation. This is our home. Our families are very close. We see great things happening at Center Chapel…and we see great things on the horizon. It’s hard to leave Center Chapel. Yet, we know that this is the right thing to do. We see this as a wonderful opportunity…for me and for our family. A lot of things have lined up and clearly indicated to us that God is in this.
So, my last Sunday at Center Chapel will be January 10th. My last day here will be January 14th. And I’ll make my transition to Lafayette Christ on January 15th. It’s going to be a big change. It’s going to be a good change.
We’re excited about this. We would ask that those of you who are the praying type would surround our family in prayer during this time. We ask that you’d pray that our house will sell and that we’ll find new housing in Lafayette. We ask that you pray for Lafayette Christ and that this period of transition will go smoothly and that God will bless this congregation. We ask the same prayers for Center Chapel.