Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
I want to share with you this week about the length of my service as Pastor of IBCZ. A familiar line from Scripture (Ecclesiastes 3:1) states, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” I’m sure we all know this to be true in our own lives. Our life circumstances change, and we enter into a new season of life.
Daniela and I are now entering a new season of our lives. As most of you know, in the past six months we have become grandparents – twice! A daughter was born to our son and daughter-in-law in October, and our daughter and son-in-law had a baby boy just one month ago. I know you have all noticed that Daniela has been absent the past four months as she is helping to care for our grandchildren.
For the past year or so, Daniela and I have been praying, thinking, and talking about when our time of service at IBCZ should come to an end so we can be together helping our children and grandchildren. We both believe that time is drawing near, and so at our Elder’s Retreat this past Saturday I let them know that I will conclude my ministry here the end of October.
This has not been an easy decision for us, as we love all of you and it has been a great privilege to serve IBCZ. If it were not for these family developments, we would continue here much longer. But with the birth of our grandchildren, we believe the Lord is calling us to enter into a new season of giving ourselves more fully to our family. Between our time of service in Malaysia and Switzerland, we have been away from our children for almost eleven consecutive years. So now is the time to return home and devote ourselves to our children and grandchildren – a role that no one else can take.
We will move to Colorado. We recently purchased a home just a 15-minute walk from our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. And it is an easy flight to Minnesota where our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson are. Along with family involvement, we are hopeful the Lord will open a door for ministry – perhaps part time – in that area.
The Elders are already working on putting together a Search Committee. If you would like to suggest someone for the committee, please let the Elders know soon at email@example.com.
This is not the time to be saying good-bye; there will be time for that later. But because I am required to give notice of leaving six months in advance, I am letting the church know now. May I encourage us all to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the ministry of IBCZ, and especially to be in prayer for the church, for our ministries, and for the upcoming search process.
May God’s grace be over each of you, and over the International Baptist Church of Zurich!
Grace and peace,