Our church is closing.
The news came seemingly out of nowhere.
I love our church. We’ve grown close with the other families. I looked forward to seeing our elementary and preschool kids grow into teens and adulthood together. It intrigued me to wonder what they would be like as they matured and found their niche in life.
Sure, we haven’t grown much in the two years since we officially “launched” on Easter 2021, but the sermons have been on point and timely, the fellowship strong, the meals delicious.
But God, apparently, has other plans.
Our pastor has been feeling the Lord pull him to go in a slightly different direction, theologically. This has led to the decision that it’s only right for him and his family to be part of a denomination that aligns with his new conviction.
So, with such a small group, and funding that would have eventually dwindled and made us unsustainable before much longer anyway, we have, together, decided the wisest thing to do is to disband and find new church homes.
Starting over will be tough. Many of our group don’t live close to one another, so we will most likely end up in different churches. There have been lots of emotions over the past few weeks as we contemplate giving up the fellowship we’ve enjoyed and the dreams we had for the future.
I think when we go through the unexpected, it’s so important to know how to rest in the unchanging goodness of God. In doing so, we do not give in to discouragement or fear, but can with graciousness step forward, knowing we follow a good and powerful Savior who will never for a second leave us or forsake us.
He gave us Covenant Life for a season, and we are beyond grateful. It has been a respite during a tumultuous time, a gift of community in a world of isolation. We have celebrated birthdays and new babies and new believers together. We have mourned losses alongside one another. We have done life, side by side. And it’s been sweet.
And now, it is over.
And so we look forward.
We trust that the same God who blessed us richly with Covenant Life will bless us in a new place, in a new way. We trust that his plans are better than our own.
We bless one another as we go our separate ways, holding on to both the memories and the friendships, but acknowledging that it won’t be the same.
But it will most definitely be okay, because God is still God, and we belong to him.
“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:19
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6