Endings & Beginnings

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.(Philippians 1:3-6)

“Endings are for gratitude, beginnings are for faith.”  

As I complete my time of ministry, the words of the Apostle Paul reverberate from my heart to my brothers and sisters in Pilgrim Covenant Church.  For those who may not have heard, I have accepted a call to pastor the Covenant Church in Warren, Minnesota. My last day with PCC will be December 31st.

I am grateful to God for the many blessings I’ve experienced over the 6 years I’ve been here.  Over that time, we entered into the challenging process of intentional revitalization that spurred many changes.  We have corporately planned and done many great programs and outreaches that have touched lives. This, in addition to all of the regular weekly and monthly labors that characterize the life of the church.

In all of these activities, I have experienced the joy of what Paul calls the partnership in the gospel.  Simply put, this is the reality of working together for the cause of Jesus Christ – bringing glory to his name and making disciples.

Let me state plainly: I am deeply grateful for the sacrificial, committed love of my brothers and sisters of PCC.  As Paul’s letters indicate, this is anything but easy.  And doing it in an ever-changing, post-Christian, consumer culture that not only pulls people away from the church but from each other, it is all the more so.  So to all of you that I have had the privilege of laboring alongside, whether in be in leadership, in committee, in programming, or in the challenging seasons of life, I am thankful to God for you.

And in the midst of this, as my family has matured, you have been our friends.  And that means incredibly much!

Endings always mark new beginnings.  PCC will welcome its interim Pastor, Dale Proulx, in 2020.  There will be different faces in leadership. There will be the work of a search committee.  And there will be many other more beginnings.

And so I leave you with this: beginnings are for faith! As God told Abraham to go by faith to a land he did not yet know but that he would provide, so God is calling you to step into an unknown future with the full assurance that what he began, he will complete.

And just as Abraham encountered many things unforeseen, so will you.  But here’s the good news: GOD IS IN IT! We follow in the footsteps of not just Abraham, but Jesus himself when we walk by faith that is characterized by committed, self-giving love.  Continue to pursue the joy that Paul himself experienced: the partnership in the gospel. There is no cause greater than the cause of Jesus Christ.

Your Friend and Partner in the Gospel,

Pastor Ryan

God is Good, All the Time!