Dear Church Family,
The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us in chapter 3 that there is a season for everything, and a time for every matter under heaven. While we can’t always control the seasons and the constraint of time, the God who loves us controls it all and is beyond the restraint of any period of time. No matter the time or the season, we can rest assured that He has us in his arms and that we aren’t alone.
I believe my time as your pastor at Fayette FUMC is coming to a close. Today, I have informed the SPR Team that I will be surrendering my credentials as a UMC pastor. I will continue to lead worship services here through the end of November.
I have come to see that I am not called or equipped to lead an established church. When I entered ministry, I was convinced of my call to be a church planter. God has spoken to my heart that this is my calling. You have been so very patient with me and poured out love and grace over me. For that I am eternally grateful. You have helped me to grow and taught me what love looks like. This church will always hold a very special place in my heart.
There is a new season for you. In this season, God is blessing you with a very gifted and experienced interim pastor who will be appointed here until July. He will work on leading this church through the transition time, including healing and navigating denominational uncertainty. He and your DS Rev. Sherri Reynolds will work together with a transition team to support this church, insure the health of this church, and to continue building on the already amazing legacy this church projects into the community. This leader will be announced to you on November 3 by your SPR chair in conjunction with Rev. Reynolds. This is exactly the type of leadership that this church needs to be the best it can be. I am excited for you and for what God has ahead for you all!
This is a new season for the Smyth family as well. We have fallen in love with this community and the people who call it home. Our girls have found their place in the school system and have flourished here like no other place they’ve called home. So for us, as we adjust to life without full time ministry as its hub, we will begin to look for a job and a home for our family. We will still see you around town. And we still love each and every one of you. We appreciate your prayers as we navigate this new season.
The question of ‘what’s next?’ is probably on your minds as you read this. I will still pastor this church through the month of November. We will begin to look ahead with great expectancy to what this new season holds for the church. I believe that greater things are yet to come for this family of faith, and I pray that God delivers that to you all quickly.
I am forever grateful for the time I have served in the UMC. I am not angry at anyone. I am not being forced out. In fact, it has been a heart wrenching journey to this decision. But I have peace that it is God’s time and will for this season to end so that new growth can sprout-in Fayette FUMC and in my own life. I love you and I will miss you. I pray God’s blessings on you all.
Yours in Christ Jesus,