his weekend has drained me.
at an meeting on saturday afternoon, my church--my little movie theater church that i've grown to love so dearly--received the news that our pastor, Ben, is stepping down from the position, after 6 years of laboring with this church plant.
they're burned out, he and his wife, and since his primary gifting is to plant and not necessarily shepherd and pastor, he feels hes now doing more harm than good, and is not able to help the body grow into all it could be.
you know, it really breaks my heart, not so much that he's no longer going to be our pastor (though that is distressing enough), but that he and his wife and their 2 precious little boys will be leaving.
gone. absent. no longer a part of RCC.
theyre our FRIENDS
its like....losing a part of us.
we have relationships with these people--they KNOW us, love us and care for us. theyre intertwined in our lives, and now, suddenly...theyre gone.
lots of tears were shed yesterday.
none of us saw it coming, really.... but Ben and Ainsley have prayed about it, turned it over and over again in their heads, and they feel its time...and as their brothers and sisters in Christ, we're supporting them.
but saying goodbye is SO so very hard...
today reminded me much of the Friends finale.
Phoebe, Ross, Rachel and Joey have helped Chandler and Monica move the last boxes, theyve all turned in their keys...
then they hug goodbye, and ask,
"so, do you have to leave right away or do you have some time? maybe we could get one last cup of coffee...?"
that was today. the lingering, the long hugs goodbye....."do you have to leave right away? maybe we could have one last brunch...?"
the friendships dont end, but we all know things will never be the same again.
but we're committed to this church and this ministry.
the church isnt about Ben--its about JESUS.
THATS who we're here for.
and so we press on.
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thess. 5:16-18
bind us together, Lord...