It was nine years ago yesterday that Andrea and I first came to Milford. While we feel pretty young now, we came to Milford at the ripe age of 22. We felt a real sense of call in coming to Milford- which if you've never been near Milford, you would have to have a sense of call to come! Never did we consider that we would still be at Avenue nine years later and able to look back at everything that God has done at Avenue Church.
Avenue has really been a home for Andrea and myself. We have been at Avenue for all but 6 months of our married life together (10 years in December!). Abbie feels as comfortable at Avenue Church as she does in our own home.
A week or so ago, I was presented with an opportunity to pastor a congregation in Dover, Delaware. Hope UMC is a six year old church start located in the heart of Dover, on the campus of Wesley College. As I felt called to come to Avenue nine years ago, I believe that God has been preparing us to be in ministry up in Dover. After meeting with the team at Hope and spending time in prayer, I believe that God is going to do great things at Hope. I have accepted the reappointment offer and will become the pastor at Hope UMC effective July 1, 2010.
I know that over the next few weeks that I will go through many emotions as I consider my time at Avenue. You may too. But the one thing that I know for sure is that God holds all things in His hands. While it is bittersweet to leave what has become our church home, I am excited about what the future holds. I am also excited for Avenue Church because this is really an opportunity for Avenue to refine it's vision and receive a new pastor with new gifts who can help the church the grow in new ways.
Thanks, Avenue family, for the memories, the opportunities, your friendship and your prayers! I'm looking forward to our next few weeks together.