This is the text of what I shared with my church, as I had the emotional task of telling them that I and my family are moving on.
We are called to accept one another as Christ accepted us. Sometimes, we are called to accept one another’s decisions.
As Christians, I think that we should be constantly asking the Lord if we are walking in his will, and serving in the place that he wants us to be. Last year, I spent much time in prayer and through retreat days, asking God if here at Park Road was where he wanted me to be. To be honest, I really didn’t know what he was saying, but whatever it was, I wanted to be obedient. With that in mind, I decided to talk to some other churches to see what God would say, seeking either a renewed call to be minister at Park Road or a new call to serve elsewhere. One door in particular kept opening wider: through a meeting with a pastoral search team, and a meeting with deacons, and a visit to preach and meet the church, and then, last weekend, an invitation to preach with a view. After a special church members’ meeting last Thursday, that has culminated with a clear and decisive call to be minister and team leader at Newbury Baptist Church. So, in the summer, the Edworthy family will be leaving Peterborough to go to pastures new.
We love this church, and since you are the church, that means we love you. We have shared with you through life’s joys and sorrows and, thankfully, the joys have come out on top. We can think of many reasons not to leave Peterborough: among them, the exciting things that are happening here, our friendships here, our children’s education, Wendy’s job. One thing outweighs all of those things, and will always outweigh them – that is … God’s will. We believe that God is calling us to Newbury and from Newbury, because He is already there! I recognize the implications of our departure from here, but I know that God has his plans for this church and this city.
Discerning God’s will is not always easy, and Wendy and I have agonized through this process of what God has and hasn’t being saying to us. However, a friend reminded me that living in God’s will is the best place to be. I feel completely at peace about accepting the call to Newbury, and believe this to be God’s will. We ask your prayers for us as a family as we plan to move, and your prayers for Newbury Baptist Church as with them we enter into a new sphere of ministry. We shall continue to pray for you, not least as we have four more months of ministry to share, and as the future unfolds.
With love in our Lord Jesus Christ.
18th March 2012