“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you”.
June 30th, 2021 was my last day as the Lead Pastor of North Shore Alliance Church; it was a day filled with conflicting emotions. After 13 years I was leaving a congregation, staff, and Board that I loved; my last sermon had been preached, goodbyes had been said, and all that remained was to clean out my office. After books went into boxes, and pictures were removed from the walls, I discovered a jumble of items that had been buried in the dark recesses of my desk drawers. Most of what I saw went straight into the garbage, but I found a card that I hadn’t seen in 15 years.
Faith Jalving was an administrative assistant at First Alliance Church (FAC) in Calgary; I met her soon after I was hired by FAC and we worked together for the next 9 years. Faith was bright, energetic, joyful, and encouraging; she was a gift to the staff team and to me. When I resigned from FAC, Faith gave me a farewell card that featured Deuteronomy 31:8 on the cover. Here’s what she wrote on the inside, “I know the days ahead will hold so many emotions for you…I’m so glad that the Lord Himself will go ahead of you and provide for you all that is needed for strength, wisdom, and direction for each day.”
On my last day at North Shore Alliance, thinking about what I was leaving behind, and what was in front of me, Jesus knew exactly what I needed to hear: I will go before you and be with you.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind; I’ve stepped into a new role and I’m working with a new team. Everyone has been incredibly kind and helpful but there is much for me to learn, and learning takes time. When people ask how I am doing my frequent response is, “My brain hurts”—and it does—but, there’s more to it than that. I have been experiencing the joy and peace of Jesus. I have felt a sense of “fit” between how God has made me and the role to which I have been called. I’m also experiencing a deep sense of gratitude; it’s a privilege to work alongside the CPD staff team in serving CPD churches.
With churches beginning to open again, and travel restrictions lifting, I’m hoping to see many of you face to face. If you haven’t already done so, I’d encourage you to consider signing up for November’s District Staff Retreat in Whistler; our Team is looking forward to hosting you, serving you, and worshipping Jesus with you.
As I think about my role and the future of the CPD, Faith Jalving has drawn my attention to what remains most important: God will go before us and be with us.
Grace and Peace to you,
 Deuteronomy 31:8 (New International Version)