A changing of the guard.

Last week was hell. Not literally of course, it was just incredibly difficult.

Last week was devastating. Literally. It was the hardest thing I’ve had to face in about as long as I can remember.

Last week I was told that I would be ‘transitioning in ministry’.

It’s not the loss of income that is devastating, nor is it the fact that I no longer have a ‘job’. What hurts the most is that I’ve been part of a community for the past 3 years and all of a sudden I’m no longer able to worship together with these folk. What hurts is that the deep relationships and friendships we have with the congregation, and specifically the youth, has been changed. My wife is equally hurt. We haven’t felt hurt in a long time, but this hurts. It aches. It’s not something that can be soothed, it must be mourned.

I won’t get into what led to this transition and I have no desire to point fingers as I’m not bitter. Our love for ACC is deep and real and that hasn’t changed.

Yesterday we sat through a service knowing what most of the congregation did not yet know, that we would be leaving. It was an emotionally draining service. The love that we experienced after the service had ended was incredible. I couldn’t explain it to you because it’s a feeling that can’t be truly expressed in words. For the past week we’ve been getting emails and phone calls that have been deeply rooted in compassion and love. Deeply rooted in what it means to be the Church. Thanks to all of those folk.

We’re not 100% where the road leads from here but we have some ideas. I’ve been accepted into Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto where I’ll be working towards my M. Div over the coming years. This likely means we’ll be moving downtown at some point this spring/summer.

Please keep us in your prayers as we try and discern what we should do.

Grace and peace.

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6 comments
  1. bethricci said:

    Hey JT – praying for you guys in this transition.

  2. Ian said:

    Turtle, sorry to hear about this. I’ll be thinking about you and praying for you and your wife. We’ll have to get together for lunches along the way if we both end up studying @ U of T.

  3. jt said:

    Thanks for the prayers and concern guys. Ian: have you applied to U of T? Wycliffe? What program?

  4. froeset said:

    Hi Jon, I started following your blog recently. I’m sorry to hear about whatever you had to face last week. I’ll be praying for you.

    T

  5. Sharon said:

    Dear Jon & Wife

    I have just read your blog. It seems that you are going through some deep waters. I am so sorry
    to hear of your loss. Just please remember that whatever it is that we experience during this journey there is always a purpose. God would never give us more than we could handle. I just pray at this very time it will be a time for you to come closer to Him. Many times when change comes He wants us to seek his face daily. My favourite scriptures is the 23rd Ps. Whether you believe this or not I know you even though you do not know me. I have been praying for a long time now. Just remember when one door closes another one shall open up. I will continue to pray for you and your wife. God bless and keep you. I am also a Bible College student, praying each day I allow the Holy Spirit to take full control of my life. Keep submitting yourself to Him and great and wonderful things will come your way. Life as a Christain is the hardest job we will encounter, but remember we do not have to carry the burden, but to lay our burdens down.

  6. James Tonn said:

    Hey fellow JT,
    This is so sad to hear. I feel your role as a leader in the Church has not changed status, possibly just locations, and format. I think it will be more like changing to basketball shoes and a T-shirt, from heavy boots and a stuffy cardigan. Seasons change, so do our clothes, and there is more movement in the outdoor summer air.
    I have a firm belief that the Church (true body) does not look like at all what we think it does. The following images come to mind – The image of a hurt self-medicating pot-smoking musician, an elerly woman on a bus sweetly smiling though missing her husbands presence, the smell of summer Corona/lime during a game of poker, and the taste of a generous dinner bought from a single mother’s end of the month cheque.
    I have myself been brought to a place by God I never would have foreseen, and still barely comprehend, and I know the church is much more than these images, but when it comes to seeing as God see’s, its usually not from the view of a pulpit.
    Keep strong, for the calling you have is far above man’s calling or will. Hope to see you for coffee soon.
    James

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