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By Pastor Diane Stevenson, Associate Pastor

Do you remember that this time last year? We were buried in snow; we were saying farewell to Pastor Phil & Linda Stenberg; the Youth pastor search committee was meeting weekly.
This time last year, as a church, we were asking the next logical question – now what? Who will take Stenberg’s place? Do we have a new Sr. Pastor coming?
This time last year, the church council had reactivated the interim pastor search committee; some were wondering why it was taking so long. Sometimes, it may have seemed like it was taking too long, or that nothing was happening. When we are in the midst of anticipation, it may often seem like things will never change, that winter will never end.
This time of year means a lot of change: signs of spring and new life are all around us; we have a new youth pastor; we celebrate the joy of Easter.
We now anticipate the joy of our new Sr. pastor’s arrival. As I write this, their car is packed and they are driving East, anticipating the beginning of a new relationship and ministry with us.
My farmer grandfather would spend hours in the barn each winter working and tinkering on his tractors and farm equipment while the snow was thick on the ground outside. As a child, this
made no sense to me: why work in the winter; he wasn’t able to drive the tractor in the snow. By examining and preparing his equipment while the snow was deep, he’d be ready when it was time to plow and plant.
In the same way, each step in the search process have been necessary. The careful examination
and preparation that we have done prepares us to be ready as we and other individuals consider God’s leading.
Spring is here; Easter is here, Christ is Risen!!
Step by step we are welcoming new pastoral staff to Bethany, to ministry with us and to us. It is with great joy and anticipation that I/we look forward to the arrival of Pastor Chris, Rachelle and
Laney. Might we open our hearts and continue to be in prayer and preparation to be ready as we welcome Pastor Chris and his family and as we prepare ourselves and our church for God’s leading us deeper in Christ.
On a very personal note: Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! Thanks for your prayers and support during this interim period; and thank you for the amazing gift that you, the church,
gave me on Sunday. I was overwhelmed by your affirmation and generosity. I’ve now made my reservations and look forward to relaxing on the beach, reading a book or two and feeling the sand in my toes. Then I look forward to returning and being part of this rich staff as we begin to build and knit together as a new team.
Thank you all so Very, Very Much for all your love.