This week find ourselves saying good-bye to Trey and Jen Lyon after nine years of service on our ministry staff. I approach this task with a range of emotions: sadness to see a friend and partner-in-ministry depart; excitement over their new ministry opportunity; a bit of pride over Trey's development and growth; but mostly, a sense of gratitude.
I am grateful for the gifts and abilities that Trey shared so generously with our church and community. He is a great teacher and faithful guide for our youth. His technology skills have enhanced our worship, outreach, communication abilities, and general operations as a church.
I am grateful for his passion and commitment to mission and missions. Trey made a decision that even "fun" activities should have a mission component. Our youth have grown to understand that service is a significant component of faith. Our annual mission trip to work with Community Servants- at what we now call "Camp Wherry"- is a week that our youth look forward to, that the leaders of the mission look forward to our coming, and even better- the folks of that housing community eagerly anticipate! From orphans in Bulgaria to the homeless in Atlanta to the needy in our own community- Trey has helped us see and minister to the needs of others. We have a generation of youth and young adults who see life, faith, and service differently because of Trey's influence.
I am grateful for a fellow minister from a different generation, who "thinks younger" than me. For nine years Trey has been a valued sounding board, engaging conversationalist- about current events and church history, and creative worship planner. Because of Trey I am much less insecure about right-clicking on my mouse!
I am grateful for Jen and Gabe. Too often we overlook a minister's spouse. Gifted in her own right, Jen has shared generously with our children's choirs, as a Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School volunteer, worship leader, counselor and friend to youth and adults.
I am grateful that Trey and Jen have remained open to God's leadership in their future ministry. They are following what they sense to be God's direction to leave a "safe" place of ministry to take the risk of stepping into a much-less secure future. They have found their security not in established buildings, budgets, or bureaucracy but in the assurance of God's calling and provision.
Thank-you God for Trey and Jen: for who they are, for what they've done, and for the exciting future you have in store for them.