Reflections at the beginning of a new year
I began my eighth year at Friendship in early November. As I look back, it’s with such joy for the community that the Lord has built during that time. We are a basically young, multi-cultural, international church. I have watched us grow in unity, growing spiritual maturity, and numerically. This last year we recaptured the momentum of previous years after a difficult 2014. Many of you stepped up to assume positions of leadership. I cannot tell you how much joy it gives me to be here every Sunday and throughout the week with you. I see all the cultural diversity and it truly is a little taste of heaven.
Our plans for now are to transition at the end of 2016. As such, I am working diligently to insure that you have the best leaders in place, and to seek to find, and train a senior pastor who can continue the great journey together. The search team is meeting regularly to accomplish that objective. I saw the end of Downton Abbey last night, and I was struck with Carson’s word (who was in transition) that he wanted to hand the abbey over to the right person. I have that same deep goal and desire.
We also say goodbye in the next two months to two of our leaders: Rick and Erin Chamness and Jerry & Bebe Chiao. Jerry became our worship director almost five years ago, and changed the tone of the entire church with his leadership. No one knows how valuable his service has been more than me. Along the way, he and Bebe met in the worship team and were married. Rick served as an elder during a difficult period and along with Kin Chong guided us through some choppy waters. Erin was always a big help in the Sunday School. We will miss them. Be sure to greet them and thank them. Also don’t forget to thank Kin even though he is still with us (on sabbatical) as his leadership genius was invaluable in strengthening the church in the past year.
I am also so grateful for Anna Furness who is always looking to lighten my load and serve you in a 1000 ways. Along with all the elders and deacons, I couldn’t be happier with our leadership team. Let’s pray together for a year in which in greater ways “we glorify God for the good of Taipei.”