"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 NRSV)
If you haven't yet, you should take a drive down Country Club Dr. north of Stacy and look at some of the trees. We've got a few in our neighborhood that are radiant too. It's our own 67 degree, Texas-version of fall, but there's a small chill in the morning, the beautiful leaves cluttering our yard, and the heightened discussion of who will make the college football playoff that tells us each year that autumn has arrived. In no time, we'll see our grass wither, a small potential for snow, and jolly lights that will tell us winter has arrived. And...admit it, some of y'all already got the lights and tree up and totally skipped one whole season...am I right?
Ecclesiastes lays out a methodical 7-couplet poem detailing all the events that will define a human's existence; things they have to react to and things they have no choice about. The constants are two things: God's sovereignty and change. Isn't it interesting how we often get the two confused?
We like to think of God as unchanging and steadfast, and by thinking that, we might just begin to interpret lack of change as good. But God's sovereignty doesn't rely upon the stagnancy of creation, rather it shines brightest when things must or do shift. We cease to make idols out of music, clothes, jobs, furniture, and people that we refuse to move on from, instead making God the object of our affection and the root of our being.
Creekwood voted on Sunday afternoon to proceed into a new season. A 92-2 vote was taken in favor of beginning construction on our new Ministry Center, and I couldn't be more excited! Also, on Sunday, you heard Jason Potts and Matthew Poulton detail our staff vision for the next 3-5 year period, another change that will come. Much of this staff change came due to circumstances, growth, and need, but I do also want to let you know that seasons changed for two of our beloved staff, Annmarie Barajas and Sandy McKinney. I asked them to share in their own words about the new season of life they are entering into:
It has been a joy and a blessing to serve Creekwood in different capacities over the past 6 1/2 years. I had the privilege of having a bird's eye view of some amazing discipleship and servanthood. I was able to work with many amazing board members who have been truly committed to Creekwood and spreading the love of Christ beyond our church walls. To say that these brothers and sisters in Christ inspire me is a huge understatement. Through prayer and changing family dynamics, I came to the realization that God is calling me to some different things and therefore my time has come to leave the church staff. I hope to be better able to support my family in these new stages in life and also hope to personally explore serving Christ in different ways in the future. My family and I are looking forward to continuing to serve and grow in our discipleship at Creekwood.
Did I mention I love Creekwood? My husband Josh and I have been members since 2010. Josh and both of our sons were baptized here. Our very first friends in the community were small group members we met in our first months at Creekwood. Serving as the Director of Communications for the past two-and-a-half years has been more of a blessing than I ever could have imagined when Josh nudged me in worship to point out a job posting in the bulletin I would ultimately fill. I have made some incredible friends, including some very special women who volunteer so faithfully in the church office, and some office mates who have become my own "small group." What an exceptional journey working in the little old yellow house has been. If laughs were measured in...let's say pumpkins....I'd have more than 1000 Creekwood pumpkin patches to show you. If words of encouragement were measured in, say, donuts from Max's Donuts, we'd have a Gathering Area full of donuts. But, as a family, we've decided it'd be nice to have a little more time together on Sundays and I'm looking towards new opportunities to apply my skills and stretch myself, so I'm saying good-bye to my official role at Creekwood. Good-bye to my official role. As my friend and website co-conspirator, Tom Kreuser, said Sunday, now I'll get paid what he gets paid. What's for sure is I'll be a much better equipped volunteer than I was 2.5 years ago, especially seeing as how I got to know so many of you serving in my official role. See you guys out there in the trenches!
We are so thankful to Annmarie and Sandy for their fruitful, joyful, and professional ministry at Creekwood, and I hope that you will also reach out to say thank you. We have already begun our search for a new Director of Communications and Media and Director of Missions, on top of our search for a Director of Youth Ministries. I'd invite you to pray for the guidance of God's Holy Spirit to be with all those involved in hiring, and for the church as a whole as I can feel God's mighty hand upon us, leading us into a new season of wonderful opportunities to reach the least, lost, lonely, and last.