Over the past 5 years, we have watched Becca grow as a spiritual leader. She has loved us, and we have loved her. Within the community of St. Peter’s, Becca has learned and grown into a place where she can now take the next step in her journey to lead a church as a solo pastor. This speaks to the success and beauty of her time with us, as many young pastors (and those newly out of seminary of all ages) only last 2 years in full time ministry. Becca has not only lasted; she has thrived! Again, we are grateful.
An important part of the care given to Becca by this generous community was her sabbatical taken this past summer, after 5 years of dedicated service to St. Peter’s. Our pastors’ call agreements include a statement that pastors are “expected” to stay for one year following a sabbatical. However, these are not average times, and this has not been an average call process for Becca. Governance Council believes that it is in the best interest of our congregation and of Becca to honor another part of our pastors’ call agreements, which states that 90 days’ notice should be given at the time of a pastor’s resignation. We are leaning into the spirit of generosity of this congregation as we welcome Becca back from sabbatical and also release her to her new call in a time frame of five months. We trust that Becca’s sabbatical and time of spiritual renewal are already benefitting us and will continue to benefit her new congregation. Her sabbatical experiences will allow her to be focused on her final months with us and will prepare her spirit for the transition to her new community. Thus, Pastor Becca will be with us through Advent and Christmas before making the move that will bring her much closer to home in January. Her last Sunday with us will be January 17, 2021.
Just as Becca is growing into her next call, this time of discernment for St. Peter’s will help shape the vision of our future and God’s plans for this community. At a specially called meeting of the Governance Council this week, your church leaders began the conversation about what St. Peter’s needed 5 years ago, now, and in the coming years.
Please join us in prayer as we begin the process of determining our call as a community in order to continue to live into our mission: “to be a welcoming community, sharing God’s love with the world, and finding the Spirit in life.” In the near future, we will form a team to discern what those needs are and what direction our community is headed, and your thoughts will be welcomed! We will continue to be in communication with you about this evolving process and work that is being done to best respond to God’s call to St. Peter’s.
Change can feel scary and intimidating, especially when we are surrounded by pandemics and wilderness. While we are sad to see Becca leave St. Peter’s, we are excited for what comes next on her journey. In addition, we are eager to see what new opportunities are in front of us as a church. As Becca has taught us to do, take a deep breath. And let’s begin the work.
Together While Apart, and Hopeful for Our Future,
Liz Chandler, Secretary on behalf of Your Governance Council:
Jennifer Atkinson, President
Eric Smith, Vice President
Diane Carr, Treasurer
Seth Henseleit-Kreigh, Generosity Team Leader
Lori Bievenour, Senior Pastor
Becca Lockwood, Associate Pastor for Missions & Education