Friends -- below is a letter I sent to the community of faith that is First Christian Church, Concord, where I have had the privilege of serving for the past 12 years, announcing to them that I have accepted a call to serve as the Senior Minister at University Christian Church, in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Kelli and I look forward to the new opportunities that God is calling us to as we begin this new journey.
I ask that you please hold our family in your thoughts and prayers as we live through this transition.
Dear members and friends of First Christian Church, Concord,
It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you that this evening the congregation of University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), in Fort Worth, Texas met and voted to call me as their next Senior Minister. I have accepted this call.
This is an incredible opportunity for me. It was at this church, while a student at TCU, that I discerned my call to ministry. UCC is, for me, a place where I encountered the Divine in a very real way. To be called to serve this congregation is an incredible honor, privilege, and sacred responsibility, just as it has been an honor, privilege, and sacred responsibility to serve alongside you for the past 12 years.
You have heard me say time and again that the church is not a place where, but a people who… In that spirit, I trust with all that I am that you all will continue to be a place of extravagant welcome and proclaim the Good News that God’s love is for ALL, no matter who your pastor is. This congregation has a long history –– over 130 years –– of seeking, serving and celebrating Christ. You did that long before I came here, and you will continue it long after I’ve gone.
The final Sunday my family and I will be with you will be November 12, which means that we have two months to celebrate and thank God for all that we have been and accomplished together. There will be plenty of time, too, to say good-bye.
I would ask that you keep my family and me in your prayers over the coming weeks as we manage this transition, and know, too, that you will be in mine.
Again, it has been my deep joy and great privilege to serve as your pastor. You all have blessed me and my family in incredible ways.
With gratitude and joy,
Rev. Dr. Russ Peterman