At the end of December, Pastor Ryan will finish his work at Bethel. He will spend January studying and preparing for church planting, and then he will embark on his new role as pastor of the emerging Bridge Church. That means that as 2019 unfolds we at Bethel will be opening a new chapter in our life as a church. What should we expect?
There are some things we cannot know about the coming year—like who will fill Ryan’s shoes after he leaves and when that person will arrive at Bethel. But some things we can know. For example:
Our Youth Director Melanie Wright will be taking on leadership of the young adults’ ministry starting January 1. She will be adding 10 hours to her current 30-hour work week to bring her up to fulltime. She will turn over her young adult responsibility to the new pastor once he or she arrives.
Wendy Werkman will be assuming responsibility for Bethel’s small groups till we get a new pastor. She will not be adding hours to her work week; rather, she will rearrange her work responsibilities to make time for small group’s ministry.
We are exploring ways to get preaching and pastoral assistance. Our current plan is to invite preachers to fill the pulpit occasionally. We will also consider hiring someone part time who can both preach and carry out some pastoral responsibilities. We look forward to Pastor Ryan’s preaching at Bethel on occasion, as well (before the Bridge Church starts its own Sunday worship services in September). There are also some significant events coming up in the New Year.
On Sunday February 3, the Sunday following Pastor Ryan’s sabbatical, we will officially bid “farewell” to Ryan, Jessica, and family. On February 9, we will celebrate our church’s 40th anniversary with a potluck supper followed by an evening of activities. Then, the following Sunday (February 17) we will lay hands on the Bridge launch team members and officially commission them for their missional work.
We are in an exciting time as a church. All of these plans reflect that God is doing a significant work among us. We can move into the future expectantly, knowing we are in His hands.—Pastor Tom
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