Dear Hazelwood Christian Church,

My last Sunday with you as pastor is Easter, and that makes this my final newsletter article. I think about how much has changed since the day I rolled into Muncie to start my ministry here. I arrived in Muncie a single man, but I was soon to be married, and now I’m going with my wife and son. When I started here Barack Obama was still President, the Muncie Mall’s four anchor stores were still in business, and only the biggest churches knew anything about live streaming their worship to the internet. When I started, the church offices were still in the Fellowship House, Andrew Luck was the Colts’ quarterback, and Jack’s Donuts was still in Muncie, but Dunkin Donuts hadn’t arrived yet (important facts in my donut-loving household). We think not much changes, but when we stop and notice, we see quite a lot can change in a few years.

I appreciate you serving alongside me in these years. You showed up, participated, prayed, gave of yourself and your resources, worshiped, and served with me. I appreciate it all. Although I’m soon to say goodbye to Hazelwood, I don’t leave you on your own. You’ll have excellent guidance from your Regional Ministers who will continue to lead you through the process of transition. You’ll have capable leadership from your interim and permanent pastors. And, most of all, the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit will be with you as you navigate the coming changes through the years, which, as it was in my years here, will be many.

Though I remain your friend, I will need to keep some distance so that I don’t distract from the work of your future pastors. Please know my love and care for you remains, but I will not be able to address any pastoral needs. Your interim and permanent pastors will be more than capable of handling any such needs, and my responding to them would only distract from their ministry and hurt the church. I care about you, but I care enough about the future of the church to not be a distraction to it.

Let me share with you a blessing from Psalm 20:4-5 as I go from here:

Let God grant what is in your heart

and fulfill all your plans.

Then we will rejoice that you’ve been helped.

We will fly our flags in the name of our God.

Let the Lord fulfill all your requests!

Grace & peace,

Jason Jones