Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Valleydale

I am not sure how I will find the right words to say, but here goes...

The face of my church is changing.  In August I posted about the passing of Rob Murray.  At the beginning of October, our beloved missions pastor resigned, and just Sunday, our beloved senior pastor finished his last day at Valleydale.  Certainly, if Rob was considered the "face of Valleydale," Calvin Kelly was the "voice of Valleydale."  He was our faithful shepherd for 27 years.  That, in and of itself, is a great accomplishment.  How many churches or pastors could boast such a thing?  In my own growing up life, normal for me was having a new pastor every 3, 4, or 5 years.  I have been at Valleydale since 2000, so Calvin Kelly has been my pastor for 11 years - longer than any other pastor I've known.  Being a pastor at the same place speaks volumes in my humble opinion of the tremendous love he held and most likely still holds for his beloved Valleydale Church.  He finished strong with great courage and bravery that will not be forgotten.  I only wish I had greater words to write a more fitting tribute.

November is a time of grief for me as I remember my earthly father who was both born and who died during this month.  Now I actively grieve again, this time the letting go of one of my spiritual fathers.  Due to my lack of understanding of the church government, I know I've not always thought the right things or even said the right things about Valleydale, but she is my beloved church - a place of grace for me.  When I started to Southeastern Bible College {before kids}, I was the only one in my class who could communicate the purpose of her church to her class:

G - glorify God through worship,
R - relate to other in biblical community,
A - apply the truth of God's word through discipleship,
C - cultivate an attitude of service,
E - expand God's kingdom through evangelism.

In the years that have passed since those SEBC days, we've simplified our purpose to: worship, connect, serve, but it is still a place of grace.

When I started here, I was in the darkest days of my life and darker they became.  But truth was instilled in me and Christ set me free from the pit.  This past year, I've been seeing God's work in Valleydale.  I was both shocked and not surprised by Calvin's decision.  Shocked because that's not the direction I wanted to see, but not surprised because God's activity is unmistakable for Valleydale right now.  Through my eyes, I wish God's plan was taking another path for Calvin (as well as Saint) such that they were staying with us; however, I see and know that it is God's good plan for us, and I submit to that.

At the beginning of the year, Calvin shared the State of the Church address, and I encourage Valleydale members to go back and read this post to read the 7 things expected of every church member, to remind us of our obligation and of the things God has done in us.  What I believe God is leading me to post for encouragement to Valleydale is Ephesians 4:1 through 5:21.  I hope you will read it and allow God to speak to you through it.  Church transition can be a scary thing, but we must stand united and not allow our church to be divided during this time.

I am a mere eyebrow hair when it comes to my part at Valleydale, and no one has asked me to post this, but I am confidant in His work in Valleydale and in me.

Calvin resigns
Saint's final blog post


  1. I have been in AZ for a year and was shocked to find Calvin gone when I returned. The resignation link is no longer available. Is there a way for me to see this article elsewhere?

    1. I clicked on the link this morning, and it worked fine for me.


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