May 2, 2021
Dear First Family,
These past few months have been rich with blessing as we have entered a season of recovery. The rising number of fully vaccinated Americans coupled with decreasing cases is incredibly encouraging. Each day I cannot help but pause and say,
“Thank you God for bringing us into better days.”
At the same time we know that recovery is never easy.
In our lives and the life we share together, there is much work to be done. Each day we are building a new church for a new world praying for God to bless us with the courage to faithfully pursue his dreams for our future.
Our challenge is no different than those facing every other business, organization or church emerging from the pandemic. The needs are varied, but the difficulty is shared by all.
Within the larger church the most significant need is leadership. That is consistent across the nation and evident here in Central Texas as well. In response, Bishops across the country are doing what they have always done to faithfully respond to that need.
They are turning to leading churches like First Methodist Mansfield to deploy those next generation leaders who have been trained and equipped within those congregations.
As you all know, Pastor Shea Reyenga is one of those phenomenally gifted young pastors. We know first hand that his potential as a pastoral leader in the decades to come is limitless.
That is a testament to God’s gifting in his life. It is also a witness to how you as a church have invested in him. It is an expression of your vitality and health. I am so proud of you for that.
And so, in a season of recovery and a time of rebuilding, our Bishop has asked Shea to step into the role of Senior Pastor for Bethesda United Methodist Church which is located in the area west of Fort Worth that has been rapidly growing for many years.
After prayerful discernment, Pastor Shea has accepted this new appointment which will begin on July 1st of this year.
Because of his capacity as well as the blessing he has been, this is a surprise that is nevertheless not unexpected.
Our loss will be the Kingdom’s gain.
Our task going forward remains unchanged – to bless Shea with our full affirmation expressing our full confidence that God is going to do great things through his future ministry and to trust that God is already working to bring new leadership that will fill the gap he leaves behind.
I want to ensure you that we will be diligent in our search for the individual who will take on the awesome responsibility of providing exceptional leadership for our ministry to students and their families.
For now, I want to ask you to be in prayer for Shea, his wife Lindsey and their son, Max. I am so proud of Shea. I know you are as well. Saying goodbye is a part of surrendering your life to the call to ordained ministry, but it is never easy. Pray for the Bethesda United Methodist Church that is preparing to welcome him. Pray for God to work in this time of transition.
Pray for our church as we seek God’s will for new leadership and our continued faithfulness.
I love you and I am proud of you,