It is Wednesday morning around 7:00 am as I am writing this final post. All of the memories come rushing in as my fingers maneuver their way around my keyboard. There is a lot that we can celebrate over these past few years that we’ve spent together as a congregation and youth pastor. We’ve seen and experienced God do some pretty great things. We’ve seen young people articulate calls to youth ministry, we’ve watched the atmosphere in the youth building become healthier, and we’ve witnessed teenagers begin to express their faith by taking a more active role in the overall church. These things and more remind me that the future is so very bright for FUMCFW and for the teenagers and families who worship here.
When I started at FUMCFW I was in disbelief that this church would hire a 25-year-old without any experience at a large church or even on a youth staff (I’d always been on my own). These last three years have been a gigantic learning experience, stretching me like I never thought I’d be stretched. I cannot be more thankful for this congregation’s patience and willingness to give a young youth pastor a chance to step up to the plate and live into his call.
Now it is time to say goodbye. I have the unfortunate, self-inflicted task of packing up my office over the next few days (side note: I have way too many books) and saying farewells to the people who EJ and I have come to love and invest our life in: friends, church family, teenagers, neighbors, and co-workers. When you move to a new place and leave somewhere you cherished (for us that was Tennessee moving out here), you never expect to experience the same level of relationship and love you as you did in the former. Fort Worth and FUMC have not only lived up to it but exceeded, and it’s hard to imagine that we will have that same level of love and relationship with others as we have here. There is hope that we will but the wound of parting will take time to heal as we begin our new life.
There are a lot of good things coming toward FUMCFW and I pray that you all keep doing the hard work and making the hard decisions as you continue to vision toward the future. I’ve seen the challenges this church has faced and the ways leadership has navigated those things with grace and love. I cannot wait to see, even from afar, the future that is in store for FUMCFW and the work this church has to do in the city of Fort Worth. And even though we are breaking up I hope we can still be friends (insert typical millennial emoji and Hashtag).
With much love, grace, and peace,