In our Family Chat following service on June 26th, I announced to the congregation my intention to accept the lead pastor role offered by another church. At the time, I emphasized my gratitude to the church for the support of my ministry and family since my arrival in 2013. I also said that due to the complexities of taking on new employment for Linda and myself (and in a different country) there were numerous things for us to work through, and opportunities for you to support in prayer. I advised it would be at least September before we move (providing everything works out in the details).

The elders agreed it would be good to give you an update on what preparations are complete, and what needs further attention and prayer.

1. Linda and I have worked hard to ready our house for market, and you may have noticed it was listed officially yesterday (21 July).

2. My visa application is called an ancestry visa, available to me due to my British grandparents. Besides a lengthy application process, I am required to prove the link to my grandparents via official birth registration documents. This evidence has been obtained and I may now proceed with the visa application process. This is likely to take several more weeks.

3. My future church’s name is Oadby Evangelical Free Church, which is part of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, a fellowship of some 630 churches in the UK. Oadby is a southern suburb of Leicester, the same city where my daughter Hannah lives with husband David and their family. I have limited contact with the Oadby eldership currently, as they are respecting my need to continue to serve CBC Ilderton and the need keep our moving process going.

4. Linda has had good discussions with her employer regarding a transition plan out of her workplace, and we are thankful for the evidences of grace seen thus far.

Prayer Points:

The two critical points for us are the sale of our home and the visa process. The housing market is challenging and volatile at the moment, but we continue to trust the Lord. Please pray for a quick, favourable sale. The visa application relates to our home sale, as I need to arrive in the UK within three months of my application. Please pray for discernment as for when I should finalize my application. Ideally, Linda would move with me to help get settled, even if she is required to come back for a couple of weeks of cross-training with her current employer at some point in the Fall.

As things become more definite, we will present more details regarding the opportunity for ongoing relationship with the Oadby church. As Pastor Andrew spoke of in the Family Chat, the elders see this as a “sending” rather than a “leaving”. As I mentioned before, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to connect.  

Much love,

Pastor Gary

Prepare your heart for Sunday by reading the passage and listening to the songs we’ll sing.