Monday, September 13, 2004

departure letter

Here’s a letter I passed on to Tommy Nelson, pastor of Denton Bible Church (my current church) last night after the 6:30pm service. I’ve edited out a few things to keep you in suspense. Be aware that Tommy Nelson is customarily addressed by simply his first name. So I wasn’t being any more irreverent than I usually am.


Dear Tommy and the elders of Denton Bible Church,

Greetings in Christ! I hope you all are enjoying this early Fall as much as I am.

I’m writing to give you a heads up on some changes in my life that are relevant to my membership in Denton Bible. I’m in the slow process of moving to Corpus Christi. In fact, the first phase of my place there is almost finished! I’ll still be in Denton a lot, but will be in Corpus more. Then, after about a year or so, I plan to move to Corpus completely.

The building has gone much slower than expected. But something that has gone much faster is my search for a church down there. It has become clear much sooner than expected that the church for me to join is [Small Continuing Anglican Church].

[SCAG] is quite orthodox and pretty small. It will be by far the smallest church I’ve ever been a part of. But the people there have been very welcoming without being suffocating. I love the rector and his family. I actually seem to fit in well there. And they have a passion for worship which I share.

You may have noticed “Episcopal� in the name. No, it’s not a part of *that* Episcopal Church. [Denomination name] split off from the mainline church in the 19th century.

It is definitely a traditional Anglican church. And in recent months, I have found myself becoming an Anglican as well. My basic beliefs haven’t changed. I still very much believe in inerrancy, for example. But to oversimplify a complex process, I find Anglican forms of worship and spiritual discipline greatly assist me in my worship and spiritual growth. I also want to be more connected with the whole (small “c�) catholic church than I have been.

I would be glad to talk more about this if you like, but I wanted you all to know I’m not going to the dark side or anything like that. I didn’t want you to hear I’ve joined [a Continuing Anglican Church] and wonder, “What’s this??�

God willing, I will be confirmed in [Small Continuing Anglican Church] on September 26th.

I also want to be sure before I transfer my membership that you know how much I appreciate Denton Bible.

When I was looking for a new church 10 years ago, I yearned for a place where I could fit in and serve in ministry as God led. Warren and Brad Davis, among others, encouraged me that Denton Bible not only was the place for that, but that you all are downright radical about being a church where members can serve as God leads.

And for the past 10 years, you all have lived up to that with me. Denton Bible has indeed been a place where this square peg has fit in and gotten involved as he felt God leading him. THANK YOU!

I’ve subscribed to the tapes. Tommy, don’t let it go to your head, but you are indeed one of the best Bible teachers around. And I expect I’ll be coming to the 6:30 service some for a while.

Thanks again for an excellent 10 years. God bless you all!

[end of letter]

Oh, a small housekeeping note. Since I will be extremely busy the rest of the week, tomorrow I will reveal to you and the world the church I’ll be joining.

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