October 28, 2018
To Our FLEFC Family,
Last week I preached from the book of Joshua on the conquest of the Promised Land. As an application, I pulled out three things as questions for us to consider: do we recognize and respond to the presence of God? Is there anything that we are holding on to that may keep us from going where God wants us to go? Are we willing to actually surrender everything to God? The old saying encourages us to “practice what we preach,” and our family has truly wrestled with these questions over the past weeks as we’ve been hearing God speak into our lives.
It is with heavy hearts and after many tears, prayer, and honest wrestling with God that we formally resign from our respective positions as Associate Pastor of Community Life and Office Administrator. We never imagined that our ministry journey at FLEFC would end up coming to an end at this juncture, but we both individually and as a couple feel a clear sense from God that He is releasing us from our ministry here.
Though the timing would suggest otherwise, this is in no way a resignation born out of anger, frustration or disappointment related to the decision to approach Jason for the role of lead pastor and me, Jon, as the associate. On the contrary, should God confirm and lead in such a way that Pastor Jason is called into this role, we feel fully confident that God will use him well to lead FLEFC into this next chapter. Working with Jason and our relationship with the Lavergne family as a whole will continue to be one of the greatest joys of our lives and we leave with no ill feelings towards Jason, or the board’s decision. We both affirm the priorities outlined for the associate position being necessary for the next chapter of FLEFC but are also confident that God has someone else in mind for this role.
Two questions you may have are “why?” and “why now?” The answer to the first is simple: we feel an incredibly clear sense that God is releasing us from our time here. We've had almost twenty conversations with people who have knowingly and unknowingly confirmed that this is how God is leading us. There have been e-mails and texts out of the blue from friends and literal strangers confirming this is the decision from people who know nothing about us and people who know us but know nothing about what's going on. One example stands out: as we were driving to meet with Craig to let him know of our decision, I received a text from one of my best friends in Edmonton who knew nothing about our journey. He said that God had woken him up that morning with a word for us and proceeded to send a very long and encouraging message. Among other things, it was an explicit affirmation that we were hearing from God.
Above all of this (or perhaps below it), we have simply felt God's peace and clarity that we are being released from our ministry at FLEFC. It is heartbreaking and just the beginning of a long and painful road for both us and the church in our own ways, but we trust that God has what is best in store for us as well as for FLEFC.
The second question you may have is “why now?” I want to say again that our resignation is not in response to the decision of the board. That being said, the presentation of the staffing recommendation (which we are in complete agreement with) led us to take several days of intentional prayer and discernment to hear what God was saying about our involvement in this next season of FLEFC. As we prayed about our future at FLEFC, we felt a sense of release.
We know that staying is our human desire but because of our deep love for FLEFC and our ongoing desire to walk in obedience to Jesus, we know that door has closed for us. To continue on would be in disobedience to how we’ve heard God speak. The best place for us and for FLEFC is in the center of God’s will. We have no idea what our future holds, but we trust that God will provide for us. This is also a scary time for FLEFC, but we trust too that God’s guidance is better because it will always bring us closer to Him.
An end date has not yet been determined as we are in dialogue with the board about how best to transition out. We continue to love the FLEFC family, and each of you, deeply. This has not just been a job and you are not merely our employers. You are our dear friends, brothers and sisters. We are so grateful for your investment in us over the years and trust that the relationship will continue even when the role has come to an end.
With great love,
Pastor Jon, Emily, and Ezra Reesor