Dear Brothers and Sisters;
Each of us is called to be seeking and responding to God’s calling for our lives. There are times when doing so leads us into seasons of uncertainty, but we can always stand firm in the hope that when we do respond to His will it is for our good and His glory! And so, it is with both joy and sadness that I share the news that Derek Enns will no longer be serving as Pastor of Community Life here at Chelsea Green Community Church.
Over the past year, Derek and I, along with our elders at Summerside, have had an ongoing conversation about the future of our church. Everyone involved agreed that the natural progression of our ministry was such that we would inevitably only need one full-time pastor serving our small church. This led us to come up with a plan that initially saw Derek and Ashley transitioning out of ministry at CGCC within the next 12 months and moving on to seek other ministry opportunities. However, with the recent outbreak of COVID19, the reality that our church did not need two individuals serving in a full-time capacity was magnified and the decision was made to lay Derek off. Please understand, this decision was not one made lightly, Derek has been an integral part of our church for quite some time now, but God has been using this situation in beautiful ways.
For example, God had already placed a call on the hearts of Derek and Ashley to be transitioning out of CGCC for some time now – so this decision didn’t catch them by surprise. They have been sensitive to God calling them into the next chapter of their lives, and have responded. This move has also provided them time to spend with their two young children, freeing up Derek to support his wife who works in healthcare during this pandemic. We praise God for the time we have had Derek serving and leading at our church. His work and dedication to see this church plant get up and running have been a blessing to all of us; Derek’s absence will be certainly be felt for some time. However, we trust that God is doing something amazing in their lives and in our church during this time. Please join me in prayer for both the Enns Family and also our church as we all seek God’s wisdom and guidance for the months and years ahead.
I’ve included a personal letter from the Enns Family below.
In times of transition, I know there are lots of questions; please know that I am always available to address these one-on-one. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to me (peter[at]chelseagreenchurch.ca).
Love in Christ,
Pastor Peter Barnaby
Greeting Chelsea Green Community Church,
It brings our family great sadness that due to our present world situation, that this all must be all conveyed this way and not in person. We miss you all and wish we could have shared this news with you directly. Even though we will be leaving CGCC at the end of June. We do hope to and plan to return for a Sunday at some point when things become more “normal” again, so that we can see you all once again in person!
Obviously, when something like this comes to pass there is a range of emotions. A range of emotions not only for us but for you as well. Of course there is sadness to now be leaving. But, it’s the kind of sadness that is coupled with joy. Joy because of the amazing times shared and the wonderful relationship that we have and will continue to have with you. Thanks to the technology that we are making such great use of in this time, we are gladdened by the fact that it is easier these days to stay in touch even when apart! We will miss the chats, hugs, and smiles. I will miss having the joy of, as your pastor, praying for you, offering counsel, and encouraging you towards Jesus.
In this time we also have feelings of gratitude. You all have played a huge part in my growing in the role of Pastor. Back in the early days of being new to the role, you rallied behind our family and continued to encourage and love on us even till now. Even though a Pastor’s job is to serve his “flock” I feel like you, our family, have served us and cared for us deeply in so many ways. I am thankful also that in my time at CGCC I have been able to discover more my gifting and passions in ministry. Thanks to the growth and experience of my time at CGCC, I have hopes to pursue future ministry that will encompass worship leading, discipleship, and counseling. We will always be be thankful for CGCC!
In this time we are also feeling thankful to God. We are thankful that God was leading and guiding our hearts even coming up to the layoff. Thankfully, the layoff did not take us fully by surprise. Ashley and I have known that we would be leaving CGCC at some point in the future, however the realities of COVID19 expediated the necessity of these changes, but God had been preparing our hearts and it is something that we have been able to process and come to terms with thanks to God’s leading and guidance. I am also encouraged to see how God has blessed and equipped Peter to take on his role. I have confidence that he will lead well. It has been a blessing to work with him these years, and it is a blessing to be leaving with him and I still good friends just as we were when we began in this journey of church planting on day one.
We are also encouraged that we can leave CGCC knowing it is alive and well, the mission to Seek. Grow. Serve. is still just as relevant today just as it was as we prepared for launch. I look forward to visiting someday and celebrating with you all the work God has done, just as he Has done so many incredible things up to now. There is great encouragement to be leaving knowing that He will continue the work and will bring to completion the work that He has Started.
The final thing I would like to share is our family’s optimism and hope for the future. The present reality of COVID19 has made aspects of the immediate future unclear for our family, just as it has for so many at this time. But just as God has led us, guided us, and strengthened us for our time at CGCC, we have a sense of optimism and hope for the next step God will call our family to, whenever and wherever that may be. For the time being, as many of you also are doing in our present COVID19 world, we will be enjoying time with our family, a special time that is a blessing from God. Over the next days and months we will be seeking God for His guidance and call. We know and have great confidence that God is at work in our family’s life, and that he has a specific calling for us. Knowing that He will guide us, has called us, and will bring His work in our lives to completion give us much hope and joy as we look to the future.
In conclusion: we love you and we will miss you! We will look forward to when we can come again for a visit and join in the celebration of being all together again. I would like to conclude with, 1 Thessalonians 1:2, this is a passage that I feel reflects well my heart and continuous prayer for you all, Chelsea Green Community Church.
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Derek, Ashley, Aubrey, and Brooke