A Note from Ashley – Covenant Newsletter, March 2018

Hey, friends. I wanted to share some news with you about this next season of life for my family and me. I’ve recently decided that I am going to stay home after baby #2 is born at the end of April and not return to my job at FPC. I’ve been so grateful for my time on staff at First Pres these past four years. I feel both really sad at the thought of not being a part of the incredible staff here and also really sure about my decision.

This past year and a half in particular has been really great in so many ways in mine and my family’s life, and there have been some real challenges we’ve walked through as well. I know that my Crohn’s has played a significant role in that (as has becoming a mom two years ago) and am really hopeful for a season of healing and intentional work toward becoming healthier. I have felt more and more like I’ve been unable to pour into my job the level of commitment and dedication I’ve so desired and felt necessary for my role, even as we’ve been able to do some really incredible things and grow parts of this ministry that I’m really proud of.

I do anticipate a sweet season of life at home with little ones. I’ve been reminded that it’s such a short few precious years and that I won’t regret it. It’s funny how we often wrestle with different calls in life. On the one hand I feel so strongly called to vocational ministry, and on the other hand, I feel so strongly called to the covenant I’ve made with the people under the roof of my home. With the challenges of this past year and a half, I’ve eaten what feels to me like a huge slice of humble pie and realized I just can’t do both in a way that honors each. And so I’m sad and sure and a bit surprised. And also really grateful.

Anyone else know the feeling of challenging decisions you’ve made for yourself and/or your family in the last few years? I doubt I’m alone – tis the way life goes, no??

It is not lost on me that First Pres is the first place I’ve been called to do ministry that wholeheartedly supports women in ministry. I will forever be grateful for the ways I’ve been nurtured, challenged, and encouraged to grow into my calling in this season of life in the First Pres community. It is such a gift, and so many of you have been a large part of that gift.

We aren’t going anywhere once I am no longer on staff, and I am so curious about being a regular ol’ congregant in the community! Thank you for the ways you’ve loved my family these past four years. I am so excited to see what is in store, hopeful for some healing, and even anticipating some spiritual growth that feels exciting.

From a staffing perspective, Josh and I are working together with Todd and Stuart to decide next steps. I am so confident that FPC will continue to see the value of this ministry and that my role will be filled with someone who will do more and more for the YA community here in partnership with Josh and Sabrina. I’d love to hear questions or thoughts you may have.

Grateful for each of you and excited to continue to do life with you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if any part of this leaves you with questions. And if you want to get coffee, we can even get it on the church between now and April 23 😉

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