Friday, March 09, 2007

SNOW in the forecast for VERMONT

I continue to be amazed at how God is working in the life of our church and the lives of the people who make up the church here at Grace. I can hardly wait for March 18th as we will have opportunity to see dozens and dozens of people take steps of faith to follow the Lord in baptism. Then of, course, Easter is right around the corner after that and before you know it we will have Operation Barnabas here with us and it will be time for our rodeo and western fair outreach this June. I love my job!!

This spring we will also have a chance to celebrate another milestone for a member of our staff here at Grace. Last summer, Pastor John Snow moved into a 1-year partial retirement position here at Grace Church as he prepared for how God would lead him as he and his wife, Lucy, entered full retirement this summer. God has answered this prayer for them as seen by Pastor Snows’ note below:

“Lucy and I have been praying for God’s direction as how best to serve our Lord in the upcoming retirement years. God has recently opened a door for us in Lyndon Center, Vermont at a Church which has experienced some difficulties and in their words is in need of healing. I met with the leaders and spoke there during a visit in January. A week ago they asked if I would consider coming as an interim pastor as soon as feasible from our end. I have made a commitment to them and we will be making the move during the last week of May. Interim positions are typically short term, but situations like this may require at least a year to work through various issues. So we will be relocating to the North Country (some people call it the Northeast Kingdom). It has been a privilege to be a part of this church for the past 8 ½ years. It is exciting to see how God is working in people’s lives. May God continue to enrich each of you as you follow Jesus. We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we work through the many details of transition.”

We are very excited for how God will use John and his giftedness to help bring healing and stability to this hurting church in Vermont. He will be perfect for this task. I hope you will join me in praying for the Snows and in showing our appreciation to them for their service here at Grace Church. We will be getting you details about opportunities to do just that as we near the end of spring.

One of the main roles that Pastor Snow has led in this year of partial retirement has been our P.E.P. (People Enjoying People) Group, which is our ministry for those who have entered or are nearing their retirement years. This has been a valuable ministry and I am pleased to announce that Pastor Willard will be continuing this ministry as Pastor Snow moves into his full retirement.

We are also in the planning stage of hiring an additional pastor to our ministry staff whose main area of ministry will be that of pastoral counseling. I am very excited about what this position will mean for our church and for me personally. Please continue to pray for us through this time of transition.

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