Pastor’s Letter

To the faithful flock of Christ, beloved band of believers in Bangs, our dear friends, known as the Church at Chapel Hill:

New Year’s greetings to you and your family in the Name that is above all names, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am writing you today to send out a clarion call. A summons. An invitation. 

Although we are planning a formal installation service on the 21st of this month—this Sunday, January 7th, will be the first Sunday I will stand before you in 2018 as your next pastor. It is hard to believe that this three year transition which began in January of 2015 has come to an end.

The thoughts, feelings, and emotions that Kari and I are experiencing, that my parents are experiencing, and that I’m sure many of you are experiencing, are bitter-sweet. After twenty-two years of our founding pastor and his wife’s faithful service and leadership, they are passing the baton to the next generation. And after ten years of faithful service from our youth pastor and his wife, Mark and Mary have handed their role to Weston and Tori. 
Our church family has moved from transitioning page to page in our story—to now turning to a whole new chapter. It is truly a mixture of sadness and gladness for me, for us. I have shed a lot of tears starting out this year. But they are tears rooted in joy and gratitude for God’s faithfulness to bring us to this point in our history.
Over the past few months, I have given much thought to these questions: How will we begin? What will be our first strategic move on this chess board called church life? What is the very best, most important step we could take to seek the continuing approval and blessing from the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as we carry on this work? And down the road, when Kari and I look back on the commencement of this calling, what will be our legacy?
Together we have settled the above questions with these answers from God’s Word:
Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples. (Isaiah 56:7)
Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD. (Joel 1:14)
And Jesus said to them, “…if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:20-21)
This Sunday, January 7, we are planning to have a church-wide, one hour prayer meeting at 9:30 AM (our regular worship service will still begin at 10:45). We believe that fervent prayer is the absolute best way to start this new season together with you. And we are convinced with a deep conviction that there is not a better way than this. I ended 2017 in prayer and fasting, and have entered this new year doing the same. If you are a part of our church family, and you are physically able to do so, I am asking you to pass over breakfast this Sunday morning—in order that you come to God’s House hungry. And by His grace and power and presence, our experience will be this: He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
Kari and I are excited to begin this next chapter with our church family. We are truly humbled and grateful for the privilege and honor to serve each of you. We are here for you, and we want you here with us.
In Christ’s Endless Love and Amazing Grace,
Pastor Jon & Kari
Prayer