To the Congregations of Lutheran Youth of North Seattle:
Three years ago, I sat in my old office in Anacortes and had already begun thinking of the all the emotions of considering transitioning of ministries. I was excited for new relationships, adventures, challenges, and moving my personal ministry into the city of Seattle. At the same time, I also found myself saddened with the thought of leaving the students, families, and congregation I had been serving for 3 years. I love that congregation and each person I had met. I feared losing relationships and missing out on the next adventures for the congregation.
Once again, I find myself at this impasse. I have been called and have accepted the opportunity to become the Youth and Family Ministry Director at Advent Lutheran Church in Mill Creek, Washington. This call gives me the opportunity to serve in my local community with the church only 5 miles away from my home. I will be working with members of all ages as we find ways to reach out to the growing community around Mill Creek and Everett. I find myself just as I was before, excited for the journey ahead and the new relationships that will be made. I am nervous and excited for the challenges of planning community engagements for a new congregation and community.
And yet, through all this excitement I find myself sad again. I am sad to be leaving this expansive community here at LYONS. I will miss planning out all congregation middle school retreats, hanging out at Herkimer or Ballard First for Coffee Wednesdays, having great conversations over Bible Studies, and the joy that came from our monthly events. I loved our adventures to Idaho, Bellingham, Ocean Shores, Texas, California, and even exploring the local areas of North Seattle. I enjoyed laughing, crying, and listening to each of you. I love celebrating your triumphs and comforting you when life turns sour. It makes me sad to think of the wonderful sermons I will miss from all your pastors, and the vast knowledge they continue to be excited to share with you about our great faith.
Here is what I do know though: this is not goodbye, this is see you later. While I may move away from being the director of LYONS I will still be active within our larger church on the synod and national levels. I look forward to seeing each of your churches find new ways to flourish and continue to grow. I will still celebrate your triumphs and pray for you in times of need. I will wave and give hugs when we run into each other at synod gatherings, at camp, up at Holden Village, dance at the ELCA Youth Gathering, and beyond. Know that I love every one of you, whether we have talked every day or if we have had just a brief handshake in the passing of peace.
My favorite verse is 1 John 4:16b and it states, “God is love, whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God lives within them.” I encourage each of you to continue to love one another. Continue to be the light, joy, and love that this world needs. Blessings to all of you and we will see you down the road.