It was just announced at my church this morning, so I can let the cat out of the bag: I am moving to southern California to take a position as worship leader at Sunridge Community Church in Temecula. I am moving in just 20 days!
As was said in my resignation letter Erich Roehl read this morning and last night, I feel well supported in our decision by the leadership of Neighborhood Church. After four years of service here, it will be hard to leave so many incredible people and leave a ministry that means so much to this entire region of the state as well as to me personally. Bill Giovannetti (my pastor) and Erich Roehl (my boss and executive pastor and friend, too) have shown much grace in praying with me about the next step.
I was blessed this morning with the congregation’s enthusiastic affirmation and thoughtful words of so many. One said to me with loving sarcasm, “I do not accept your resignation!” as a word of support. This morning, Sharon Rigby made an incredible breakfast for our worship team. Sharon represents what will be hard to leave–loving people who use their gifts to bless others.
Selling a home, finding a new home, getting kids and dog situated and starting a new job and ministry are huge changes for the Kirkpatrick family. I am so grateful for friends like Andy and Jim who have held me accountable to live out my dreams in life and who I will miss terribly! (You guys will certainly not be rid of me entirely). I leave behind many here who I love deeply and who have been a part of my life, ministry and calling. (If I were to put more names up, I would miss yours…so…)
My kids and Tammy will lose relationships,too. However, the future is very exciting for us. Our new town is a great place to raise kids and our new church is a kind of place that we would choose regardless of it being my job to be there! Sunridge Church desires to reach those who perhaps fall through cracks in a lot of churches–the unchurched and those turned off by church, for instance. A lot of churches grow by reaching people changing from other churches, or what we call in the church biz “transfer” growth. Sunridge has about 30% of its members there who are new Christians, and focus a lot of energy on who they call “spiritual beginners.”
I will be posting more about this new adventure as the weeks unfold. I ask your prayers for my current worship team and church as they will need a new worship leader very soon and for my family as we try to sell a house in a tough market and move 600 hundred miles away.