That’s What She Said

Yesterday I met with my church board and resigned my position. Then I emailed my congregation and shared it on social media because we live in a weird, new world. You can read the letter here.

For those unfamiliar with our denominational process (which is probably most of you), it’s complicated. It feels a little like the decision came out of no where. Let me assure you there have been many conversations before this moment. And it’s only getting started.

I am certain many people wish I would have told them personally and not in an email. It would have been nice, but also it would have been mentally and emotionally exhausting. Instead, our process looks like this: talk to your superintendent, then your staff, then your board, then the congregation, then all your pastor friends who may or may not think you have lost your mind. You get the idea. It’s all a new experience for me. But we will do it together just like we have for the last eleven years.

I’m very deliberate in my decision-making. God started working on my heart at the end of 2019. Then, in January 2020, I was at a conference and I knew He was releasing me for a new thing. Of course, this is also when the world caught on fire and I started questioning my discernment. But now I see that God knew I would need 18 months to say good-bye.

In August, I took my annual prayer retreat. My plan was to write and rest. As I walked through the meadow, I was listening to The Blessing, and the Lord whispered to my heart, “Sometimes we stay longer than we should.”

On Sunday, I will share more about this, but it may be helpful to address some FAQ.

To the unchurched and those who have no context for this…I will no longer be attending after 10/31. You will need time and space to prepare for your new pastor.

For the de-churched who have only had pastors leave due to moral failure or death…I’m not getting a divorce. I don’t have cancer. I’m still a “minister in good standing”.

To my clergy friends who have watched so many walk away recently…I’m still an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. I’m not going anywhere.

To those who have never had another pastor…I still love you, you will be okay, and it’s alright to be angry and sad.

To those who trusted me to pastor them through spiritual wounds…you are safe and you are stronger than you know.

To all of you…you are loved. You have a place to belong. You still have work to do.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and grant you peace!

1 Comments on “That’s What She Said”

  1. Pastor JoAnn I really appreciate your helping us through this process. You’re leadership skills are a blessing to us all.

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