May 2017

posted in: Minister Blog | 0

It is with sadness, but also immense gratitude that I share with you that in July, I will be stepping down as Senior Minister of our church.
I have accepted an offer to join the ministerial team at Mile-Hi church in Colorado, where I intend on being an important part of leading that church into its future.
Nearly seven years ago I became a co-minister here with Peggy Price, and this month marks six years that I have been your senior minister. That’s close to 300 weekly sermons, about 40 classes, being a part of seeing nearly 20 practitioners into graduation, and simply having the time of my life.
I have become a better individual here, a husband and step-dad here, a better listener, and especially, a better minister. There have been so many individual supporters who have been instrumental in my success, but whenever I think of a place or community where I will look upon as being responsible for whatever accomplishments I am able to be part of in the future, I will be thinking warmly of Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living.
Please know my leaving has everything to do with following my commitment to God and to myself, to pursue my vision of articulating our teaching and bringing it to as many people as possible.
We have the best church. It is filled with immensely talented and committed people. It is a beautiful church without debt. I would love to continue to live by this church, by the beach, and by my precious O’Malley’s (where I’ve been known to drink a beer once in a while), but I’ve learned with this ministry business, that it is not about personal pleasure or comfort, but about a commitment to spiritual service. As Emerson once said,
“Each man has his own vocation.  The talent is the call.  There is one direction in which all space is open to him.  He has faculties silently inviting him thither to endless exertion.  He is like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on every side but one; on that side all obstruction is taken away and he sweeps serenely over God’s depths into an infinite sea.”
I know many of you will be sad at my departure and concerned for the church’s future. I understand. I am sad about leaving, but I do so with immense confidence in our church’s future. And no, you cannot keep April or Gavin.
We have talented and ready spiritual leadership, board leadership, staff leadership, and leadership in our youth church that will continue to guide this church. Your leadership council will be working diligently with me to ensure a course of action in the best interest of our church for its interim between senior ministers and I will be cherishing my final months here.
What I am most proud of in my time here is that I believe we are truly a community centered and led church. This may come as a shock to you, but some ministers actually think the church is a reflection of themselves 🙂 . We have a strong culture of inclusion, acceptance, and of not being uptight that will continue to thrive and attract new members. We have shared leadership and wise vision holders from ministers to lay members. Where I have thrived as a minister is in becoming a reflection of the wonderful people who make up this church. A church that has been in existence since the early 1960’s, and that I will remain committed to in newfound ways to support long into the future.
I hope you and I have time to connect before I go and that each of us is able to reconnect and recommit to this church in some way through this time of transition. I know many of us will share tears, laughs, fears, memories, future dreams, and more…but at the deepest core, it will be gratitude that I feel for the immense blessings of Spirit in my life, and that I got to share them with you.