Whenever new members join our Travis Park Church family, as will happen this Sunday, we say the following together:
The journey of faith is a journey through life, and we are fellow travelers making our way. As we walk together, we share our stories and our questions, our successes and our failures, respecting the dignity of God’s image in us all. We beckon you to join us on this journey and we make a place for you here. Remember always, the family of God is your family too. Amen.
This Sunday is a time for Pastor Valerie, Caleb, Jacob, and me to say goodbye, to celebrate the five years of community and ministry that we’ve shared, and to look forward to all God has in store as Pastor Cynthia Engstrom arrives as your new pastor.
What a gift from God it has been to be fellow travelers on this family journey with you. We have been through a lot together, with so many changes within and around us. Together we mourned over the discriminatory actions of the larger United Methodist Church, and set a path of resistance together. We opened our doors to over 20,000 migrants staying overnight on their family journeys. We rebuilt after our 2019 roof collapse, and we adapted during COVID to find new ways to connect with new people. Someone prayed for you and for us before each of us arrived here, and now a connection with this community has birthed new friendships, new ministry opportunities, newly changed lives. On a personal note, you have welcomed and nurtured our children as your own, and they’ve embraced this community as a place they can be themselves and grow into all God made them to be. That’s huge for “double pastors’ kids!”
These moments of transition are an important time to reflect: to say “thank you” and “you’re welcome,” to say “please forgive me” and “I forgive you,” to say “I love you” and to embrace all that God has in store through life’s changes. I hope you’ll join us this Sunday, in person or online, to remember and declare these things together.
There is no growth without change. That’s difficult, and that’s why we need partners on the journey who will walk with us and help us seek and follow God’s lead. It’s not just Methodist pastors, but every Christ follower, who must “do what the Spirit says do” and go where the Spirit says go. Please pray for us, and pray for one another, that we will all cling tightly to our God whose steadfast love never ends, and to the community and ministry God is calling us into. I have every confidence that the One who began a good work in you and in me is faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6).
In God’s love and hope, joy and peace, we abide in Christ with you as fellow travelers making our way.