Jeremiah advised the Exiles to build houses and plant gardens. They weren’t to begrudge their circumstances, rather, they were to ready themselves for the plans God had for them – plans to give them a future and a hope.
The word to the Exiles has been a lesson for God’s people ever since. However discouraging our circumstances, however bleak the world our eyes perceive or our ears hear, God is at work, often unseen, unheard, his plans and purposes to fulfill.
Even during lockdown, even in the age of pandemic, God is calling LPC to place its lamp on a stand – hide it under a bushel? NO! We’ve talked about transitional leadership after Becky and I retire: Tyler, Brian, and Casey overseeing our ministries and helping us stay focused on the elders’ vision for work. We knew that shifting responsibilities would leave some gaps in the vital areas of youth and children’s ministries, ministries that have continued strongly, and, especially in the case of youth ministry, even thrived during lockdown.
Looking to the future, then, the Session created a new position of Program Director for Youth and Children’s ministry, about an 80-20 split as Tyler moves from Director of Youth Ministry to Pastoral Associate.
Pardon the mixed metaphor, but we are planting a garden rather than burying our treasure.
It is with great joy, and strong hope, then, that we can tell you about the person we believe God has called to join our staff ministry team. Meet Eric Jacobs and the soon-to-be Jess Jacobs.
Eric is a this-month graduate of Cairn University, and Jess of Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA. And, yes, really not virtually, they will be married in early June (not the wedding they anticipated, but the marriage God has planned for them!).
Eric is already doing some part time work with our youth and will join us full time after the wedding.
I have only just begun to get to know Eric, but every conversation, every encounter, is so encouraging and such a confirmation that the garden we are planting will bring a great harvest.
And Eric and Jess together – what a wonderful couple!
As part of the interview process Eric shared some of his thoughts on youth ministry. Here’s part of what he said:
Youth ministry is an amazing opportunity to build a biblical foundation in the lives of students. My goal for youth ministry is to create an environment where students can grow together and Christ can penetrate their hearts. An environment where students can learn to invest in the lives of one another and discover what it means to live a life as a disciple of Jesus. I believe disciple making in any environment means taking time to personally invest in the lives of others and walk with them on their journey to knowing and eventually sharing Christ with others.
In the near-term Eric will join Brian, Tyler, and Casey on our ministry leadership team. And as our new pastor arrives a bit later – to God be the glory, great things he is doing!
No Sunday Fellowship Time reception to welcome Jess and Eric to the LPC family, but if you’d like to send a welcome message, you may contact him directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (clip and paste link – for security purposes it is not live.)
Jess and Eric – welcome to the family!