The theme of the last few years has been sweeping change. Apparently once Chad and I got together, God decided it was time to unfold some dreams rapid-fire style. We got engaged, married, then pregnant in the span of about six months. Once Phin was born I transitioned out of full time ministry and into stay at home motherhood. All this time, God was speaking to Chad about the future and what he was hearing was so exciting he was rather antsy to see it come to pass.
For a few years now Chad’s felt like his time as a teacher was winding down. His passion for creative ministry within the church was growing. He waited, serving both Okemos Public Schools and the church faithfully and with great excellence (I can say that un-objectively because he actually won an excellence award this year). Well friends, another part of the vision has come to pass. An opportunity for Chad to move into creative arts full time has been presented. Steve Bradshaw, a wonderful friend we met during his time with the Assemblies of God Michigan District, is pastoring again. He replaced a retired pastor in a mid-sized church, relocated his family, and invited us to join him with Chad as his Creative Arts Minister.
In Venice, Florida.
Whaaaaat?! (I assume that’s what you’re thinking…it was what we thought at first too!) Chad lived in Florida for two summers during his time employed at Disney World. I visited frequently during my time on staff at Mount Hope as Pastor Dave hosted a number of Church Planters Schools and Leadership Interchanges in St. Pete Beach. Neither of us ever dreamed we’d move there. But when we started talking with Steve and his wife Mary Beth, when we visited the church, we knew it was the right move.
This is a very bittersweet time in our lives; we are excited for the future while mourning the leaving. We have a marvelous community here in Lansing. We have family here, along with many people we love dearly and a church family we adore. Our hope is to simply expand our community to include Venice while maintaining strong connection with our Michigan loved ones. As we prepare for this big transition we ask for your prayers for wisdom, favor, and simplicity.
In closing, here are a few FAQs related to our move:
- When’s the big move? Chad’s first day on staff is July 29; our move will happen sometime the week prior.
- What are you doing with Chad’s house/the condo? We still aren’t sure what we’re doing with our two (count ’em, TWO) houses here in Michigan but are researching all our options.
- Creative Arts Minister? What’s that? Chad will be responsible for all things creative at the church. It’s a new position for this particular church so he has the privilege of building the department from the ground up, recruiting, training, and releasing people to flow in their creative gifting.
Michigan folks, we love you. Remember this isn’t goodbye, it’s only “see you later.” Trust me, I’m saying that as much for myself as I am for anyone else. Here’s to moving forward, into new adventures!