more joy, encouragement, and exciting news from Wake Forest

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KEEP THE LID ON! Monday a week ago I wrote (2 Prayers and a Small Miracle) that I had to wait 24-hours before I was allowed to say anything about a particular moment of joy from Sunday Nov 16 at WFPC. Then it turned out I had to delay this post for an entire week!

Well, the week has passed, so now I have the “all-clear” to share the latest God-saturated news from our wonderful Wake Forest faith community. After more than six months of diligent searching, the APNC (associate-pastor nominating team) presented a recommendation that our congregation call an outstanding young man to work alongside Rebekah on the pastoral staff. John Fawcett will be beginning his work here in early January.

GOOD STUFF! I met John briefly on one of his “under the radar” visits, and I was impressed with his positive, people-oriented witness to faith in Jesus. He is obviously deeply committed to serving God in the context of the Presbyterian Church, and he is genuinely excited at the possibility of working here with our congregation.

IMG_6058Then, last Sunday, I was likewise impressed with the presentation made by the APNC. The group, co-chaired by Sharon Kucyk and Ed Pulliam, were faithful witnesses to the work of the Spirit in their selection process. Their determination, their joy, and their unwavering belief in what is possible here over the next few years, was – and is – truly inspirational.

After the team’s presentation, the motion to call John Fawcett was put to the congregation. That’s when, instead of requesting a show of hands, or asking people to say “aye,” or calling for a ballot, Rebekah instructed the congregation cast their vote by standing.

I’ve got to tell you, the moment was moving. I witnessed a sanctuary full of people come to their feet as one; it was a beautiful display of unity, affirmation, and enthusiasm, and it made my heart sing.

I’ve got to tell you, the moment was moving. I witnessed a sanctuary full of people come to their feet as one; it was a beautiful display of unity, affirmation, and enthusiasm, and it made my heart sing.

the moment of call

UNITY IN CHRIST: “Here we are,” the people seemed to be saying; “We’ve come through a lot in the past few years; but today we want to make this positive witness to our belief in the power of the Gospel of Love. We are trusting that God will continue to heal us, and that God will continue to lead us – is already leading us – into a future defined by unity, by mutual encouragement, and by joy in believing.”

As for John, he wrote about his calling this way:

“I feel God is calling me to Wake Forest to help shepherd and participate in the rich spirit of discipleship that is in the hearts of the church family… [WFPC] is a place where the Spirit is certainly on fire and at work.”

I’m really looking forward to getting to know John, along with his evidently vivacious wife, Madeline. And I’m continuing to grow in excitement about all that God is doing here, all that Rebekah and I are privileged to be a part of.

IMG_6107So, welcome to Wake Forest, John and Madeline; may WFPC’s vibrant spirit of faith, enthusiasm, and belief draw you in, affirm your calling, and leave you both no other choice than to fall in love with this beautiful community.

In anticipation and joy – DEREK



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