A Special Letter from Pastor Jeff Marian

 In Transition Blog

On July 13, 2022, the following letter from Pastor Jeff Marian was sent to the members of the Prince of Peace community.

Dear Friends,

For the past fourteen years it has been my privilege to serve as your lead pastor. In my 35 years of ordained ministry, my time at Prince of Peace has been some of the most challenging and rewarding. I have learned and grown and loved much!

At last night’s meeting I announced to our Board of Directors that I am resigning my position as lead pastor at Prince of Peace and retiring from full-time ordained ministry effective July 14, 2023. This is not a sudden decision but one that I have been praying about and planning for over two years. I believe that this is the appropriate time for this transition for several reasons.

First, I believe that the work I was called to do at Prince of Peace has been completed:

  • We reestablished a culture of trust between the congregation, staff and Board.
  • We developed a team of gifted, passionate and effective staff who work collaboratively.
  • We transformed our campus and created a beautiful, functional and welcoming environment.
  • We now operate from a solid financial foundation and have systems of accountability.
  • We created theological clarity that helped establish a clearer identity, including becoming a more welcoming and inclusive community.
  • We dramatically expanded our missional footprint in the community.

Second, while I’m proud of these accomplishments I also recognize that they are really the necessary foundation for what’s next. The world around us has radically changed. I believe that there are unprecedented opportunities in Prince of Peace’s future which will require changes in who we are and how we do ministry. I don’t believe that I am the person God has in mind to lead you through those changes. But I do believe that God is already preparing that next leader just as God has been preparing Prince of Peace for the next chapter in our story.

Third, I sense that I am being called to a different kind of ministry. Some of my greatest joy has been leading our staff, challenging, encouraging and equipping them to thrive and grow. In retirement I plan to use my coaching skills to continue working with leaders in both the church and business world. As much as I will grieve leaving the ministry we have shared together, I’m excited to enter into this new chapter in my own story.

While it isn’t standard protocol to give a year’s notice to a pastor’s retirement, I believe that a healthy transition takes time and can provide needed forward momentum. Rest assured that I have no intention of being a “lame duck” in the coming year but will work with our Board and staff to ensure a healthy and effective transition into Prince of Peace’s next chapter.

You can look forward to regular updates from me and from the Board in the coming days as well as opportunities to gather to ask questions or express concerns. You are also welcome to contact me or the Board at any time.

In the days and weeks ahead, there are two things I would ask of you.

First and foremost, pray. Pray for Nancy and me as we move through this significant transition in our lives. Pray for our staff and congregation. Just as God fed and led the Israelites on their wilderness journey, pray that the Holy Spirit will feed and lead our staff and lay leaders, keeping all eyes focused on the mission and vision we’ve been given.

Second, continue to be the faithful, supportive disciples that I’ve come to know and love. Significant transitions can leave us feeling anxious and uncertain about the future. So, be present for one another and encourage one another. Increase your investment of time, talent, heart and financial support. Remember, we are called to connect! Now is not the time to sit back, watch and wait. Now is the time to expectantly lean into what God has in store next, trusting the Spirit to guide us.

I am grateful for your continued partnership in ministry. Together, let’s invest ourselves into making this coming year a springboard into the future, confident that God has given Prince of Peace everything needed to thrive into this next year and for many years to come.

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