Sunday, 16 August 2009

We're returning to the UK

This letter was read to LEFC this morning.


I am sorry that I am unable to be with you in person today; I am currently in the United Kingdom for my sister’s wedding.

As many of you know, Laura, Gracie and I moved to Langley at the end of December so that I could take up the position of Associate Pastor at LEFC. Upon arriving in Langley we were met by the unexpected and very premature birth of our daughter Phoebe, and subsequently spent our first 3 months in Canada with a critically ill baby, settling into life in a new country, job, and church.

The toll that this has taken on us a family has been costly on a number of levels. The support that we have had from the church has been overwhelming and at best we have felt a strong connection to the LEFC family. Sadly though we have found it extremely difficult to settle fully into the church and into life in a new country and have found ourselves exhausted by the experience both emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Along with our own deep personal struggle, I have also found it very difficult ministering in a new culture and have found it very hard to ‘fit’ into my ministry role of Associate Pastor at LEFC. This is less of a reflection on the church but on the journey that I have been on in the past half a year life, and the completely unexpected demands on our family life. I have simply been too burnt out to tackle the demands of a new role.

We have a deep respect and love for Darren and his family, the elders and the staff team, and truly believe in the mission of the church.

As a result of these challenging life circumstances we have reluctantly decided that we should to return to England. We feel it is important to be in close proximity to our extended families as we attempt to make sense of the past year. It is with sadness that I am announcing my resignation from the position of Associate Pastor at LEFC. I will be working until the end of August, and will then return to the UK in September.

Once back in the UK we will take some time to discern wisely the next step in our life. We believe rest from ministry will be an important part of the healing process as we try to process the events of the last year.

We are deeply sorry that we will be leaving the church and the relationships that we have started to build here in Langley, but ultimately we have a deep peace that we have made the right decision. I would ask that you would consider us in prayer as we undergo another life change.

Paul, Laura, Gracie & Phoebe