For a little while, I wanted to title all of my blog posts starting with a “My” a la one of my favorite shows, Scrubs. But that’s neither here nor there.
This past Sunday, I announced that I will be serving St. Mark United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara, effective July 1.
It’s truly bittersweet. I have loved being part of Valencia UMC for the past two and a half years. I am really excited for what this church has visioned for the next few years. But, at the same time, I know that it’s time for me to move on.
While I still have a heart and passion for youth and youth ministry, I think I’m at a chapter in my life where I no longer want to be the “youth guy.” There are other aspects of ministry that I want to explore and experience and I think St. Mark is that place where I can further explore my call as a UMC pastor.
As saddened as we are leaving this church family, both my wife and I are 100% certain that this is God’s plan for us. So we are encouraged by our faith and hopeful that God will do great things through us in Santa Barbara.
On top of that, I am already familiar with St. Mark UMC, at least with their campus. 20 years ago, my dad started a Korean church on St. Mark’s campus. So from the age of 11-16, I was part of the youth ministry at St. Mark where this great guy named, Doug was the youth director. It is a sort of homecoming for me.
And, when we lived in Santa Barbara, my grandparents lived near Pomona, and we would frequently make that drive down to see my grandparents. My parents now live near Pomona. And, when we have kids, my kids will make that same drive down to see their grandparents.
I am excited for the move. I think I’ll get a bit more nervous and anxious as the days progress. I have no idea what’s in store for us in Santa Barbara. But I know that God will be with us with every single step that we take.
So, we’ll have to start packing soon. It’s always a weird feeling packing, especially the office. There’s this sense of sadness and a heaviness within the heart mixed with a sense of excitement and nervousness.
It’s been a blessed 2.5 years here at Valencia. And we are grateful for the lessons that we have learned and the friendships we have formed here.
I think it’s safe to say that transition is going to be a theme of many posts this upcoming month.
I’m looking forward to a great and crazy and memorable month of June.
Here we go.