Brothers and sisters,
At the time that I am writing this article, I have officially been the Senior Pastor here at Hope Valley for a little over a week. And what an eventful week it has been! Between preaching twice, moving from Raleigh to Durham, and meeting so many of you, I have had a wonderful start to May! As I am settling into my office and my apartment, as well as settling into the rhythm of Hope Valley, I would greatly appreciate your prayers. I am so grateful to be here. I am looking forward to getting to know you all better and walking alongside you as we seek to serve God faithfully each day.
I did want to let you all know some of the ways to get in touch with me if you need me during this time of transition. My office email address has gone live now, so you can email me at [email protected]. I check my email throughout the day, so if you want to send me something feel free to send it to my office email. As we continue to be cautious in regard to the virus, please feel free to reach out to me and let me know about any cares and concerns you have within our community. I am still learning people’s names, trying to figure out family connections, who is in the hospital, who is in extended care, etc. Any help you can offer me to help me learn where the cares and concerns are in our congregation would be greatly appreciated!
I know that this has not been an easy time for any of us as we continue to deal with the challenges presented by the pandemic. I am so hopeful, though, that we are getting closer and closer to turning an important corner in all of this. As we do, I am looking forward to getting to meet you all under more normal circumstances. Until then, I continue to have faith that the Holy Spirit will connect us and draw us closer together. I am reminded of the old Baptist conviction that the church is not a building. It is not four walls and a roof. It is the people of God, worshiping in truth and goodness. As Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Even in the midst of this pandemic, as we continue to keep some distance between ourselves, we are connected to each other. We are bound to each other by the God “who is above all and through all and in all.” The miracle of the Holy Spirit maintains that bond and will continue to refresh and revitalize it as need be.
Grace and peace to you all,