With the recent announcement that Pastor Jason is transitioning off staff at the end of June, theHeart is entering into a time of change. And though change can be difficult, it's also an opportunity for us to celebrate who we are and remember that God is calling us to somewhere we have yet to imagine.
By Josh Anderson, Pastor
If you were able to join us for an important announcement on May 2, you know that Pastor Jason will be transitioning off staff after 12 years of faithful service to theHeart. His last day is Sunday, June 27. You can watch a recording of the Gathering and what was said below:
Admittedly I struggled with what to say.
From the time Jason first informed us that he was transitioning off staff until that very moment at our Sunday Gathering, I had experienced a roller-coaster of emotions.
Shock, sadness, grief.
Like so many in our church family, Jason is many things to me—he is my colleague, my mentor, my faith leader.
But above all, he is my friend.
And I will miss working with my friend.
It was about seven years ago that Jason first introduced me as the newest addition to theHeart staff.
I got up here and balled my eyes out. Little did I know what adventure God had in store for me, with Jason serving as tour guide.
Seven has significance in the Bible. It’s holy and it’s a number that represents completeness.
I guess this transition could be viewed like that. But it’s still hard.
I’ll miss the conversations we would have about faith, and baseball, and girl dad life.
We would talk for hours. And when I say we would talk for hours, I mean Jason would talk for much of the time and I would listen.
Change is hard. We can’t see what’s coming.
But so often, looking back at what has been can help us as we look forward to what is yet to come.
Jason has set us up well for a time such as this.
He has given voice to our church family, much of which started 7 years before he joined staff.
Who We Are
We are a place for the brokenhearted and the wounded. We’re a people who question and don’t conform. We’re a place for those who simply need God and not all the religious nonsense.
We are a place where we can pursue a relationship with God and one another that is deeply personal, uncomfortably honest, and beautifully layered.
Ever since our doors opened 20 years ago, we have been a place for those who find themselves on the margins and fringes.
Today, because of Jason, we have a mission that helps guide our way.
Reconciling people to God and each other through Christ’s Love. Simple. Is our anthem.
And the beat of that anthem comes through in the distinct values we carry as a church family: loving, simple, called, true, mobile.
Jason helped us define these values. And yet it has always been up to each one of us to live them out in the special and unique ways God has already ordained.
We Have a Decision to Make
We are entering into a pivotal season as a church family. And we have an important decision to make: Are we ready to take everything that God has taught us through Jason and put it into action?
In a world that is broken and hurting and seemingly coming apart at the seams, are we ready to love people in the midst of it? Without agenda. Without coercion. Without dogma. Just love. Simple.
I think we are ready.
It will take all of us together. And I believe that God is not yet done with us. I believe that He has special plans for us even in the midst of the questions and uncertainty. Change is hard but I’m looking forward to what the future holds for theHeart.
Jason taught me about hope.
So I’m in. I hope you are as well.
Here are 6 specific next steps to consider as we move forward:
Reach out to Jason directly. If you would like to send Jason a note of encouragement before he sets out on a new season of professional life, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm certain he would love to hear from you.
Plan to attend our church family meeting on Sunday, May 16. We will talk about the future, share the plan we have in place for an interim period, answer any questions you might have, and pray together. More details will be provided soon, so be on the lookout.
Connect with a Spiritual Formation Group. During times like these, it's especially reassuring and comforting to have a group of people you can turn to with your cares and concerns. Please let me know if you'd like to connect with an SFG by filling out this simple form. We're also looking for people who might be interested in hosting groups either digitally, in person or a hybrid.
Volunteer on Sundays. Maybe you're ready to dive in and invest your time into the life of theHeart? If so, we have several immediate and pressing openings to serve on Sunday mornings. Please contact Erin Deuel directly: email@example.com
Email me or Pastor Graham directly. The pastoral staff at theHeart is available to listen and share in your processing of this news. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us via email:
Give. Our church family is supported exclusively by the generosity of those who attend theHeart. If you'd like to set up recurring gifts or provide us with a one-time donation, please consider giving digitally:
TEXT "givesimple" to 77977