October 1, 2023
To my beloved friends of BPC,
As of this afternoon, I have been voted in to be the next pastor of Congregational Presbyterian Church in Lewiston, Idaho. My last day at BPC will be Sunday, October 29. I am leaving because I believe God has called me to this church, Julia and I have wanted to be closer to my family on the West Coast, and if I’ve learned one lesson from my time as your pastor it’s this: “When it’s time, don’t wait.”
I am both excited for this next step into what I believe is God’s call for me and Julia, and very sad at the thought of leaving you all. As a pastor, you only get one “first call,” and how blessed am I that it got to be at this church, with these people, before this God? I am very aware what a privilege it has been to be your pastor while I have gotten to learn from, make mistakes before, teach, and preach to you these past six years.
You supported me as my wife and I were married in Spring of 2020, and when we had our wedding in the Spring of 2022. You brought me meals when I got Covid, and supported us when we moved a handful of times around Northern Virginia. You gave me the chance to rest last Fall, and affirmed me for doing so. I have received so much in doing ministry with our youth, leading worship, partnering with you all in so many ways, and getting to work with our incredible and talented staff.
God saw fit that we would go together through some of the strangest years of not just this church, but the Church. Everyone’s experiences of Covid are unique, but the members and friends of BPC navigated pastoral transition, construction, and Covid while navigating all the struggles outside of church. You have invited me into your lives, and given me the privilege of being a pastor to you throughout it all.
Becca and the Session will be addressing the transition in the coming days and weeks, and I will be working with Geoff Marin and our fantastic youth leadership in coordinating the handoff of Youth Ministry. I have been blessed to work with a surprising number of pastors in my ministry here, and not that Becca needs it, but I have complete respect for and faith in Becca as she continues to be your Senior Pastor.
Until my last day, I’m looking forward to spending this time with you, with its joys and sadness. I have said this so many times, so it’s worth saying again: however you feel at this news is okay, and it’s normal to feel however you feel.
And like I mentioned before: Don’t wait. If you want to talk, if you want to say goodbye, if you want to meet with me, I will make the time for you. BPC and Youth Ministry is in the good hands of the staff, the session, those who make up this church, and the God who loves you.
Grace and peace,
October 1, 2023
Friends in Christ,
I want you to know how honored I have been to work with Rev. Adam Ogg these two years, and even longer than that in our shared service to National Capital Presbytery. I have appreciated his colleagueship and humor, his visible love for Jesus, and our many cups of coffee. I have loved the way he connects with youth and that part of each of us that asks big questions and longs for connection (and pizza). I will deeply miss his presence in this place, even though I am sure we will stay in contact over the years.
I am very glad for the larger church that a leader of his caliber is ready for a new pulpit, and I am proud of this congregation for investing in Adam as he invested in us. It’s a very good thing and a sign of vitality when a church produces new leaders, and this church has a strong team working with Adam that makes Youth Ministry at BPC the treasure it is. Those leaders and I have plans to ensure the program remains strong (and fun!) during this time of transition and that the youth have a specific group of people who are there for them, to listen to them and talk with them when they need it. If you’d like to be part of those plans, speak to me or to Geoff Marin, our incredible Elder for Youth.
How can you assist in this time? Come and celebrate Adam Ogg this month and wish him well in his next call! We invite you to continue to support the church with your prayers. Lend a hand to make a meal for Youth Connections one night or support one of the programs. If you’re a parent, keep bringing your youth to Youth Connections. Consider offering a ride to another youth. Consider getting a few youth together outside of church. Pray with your youth and discuss times when you’ve seen people come together in hope and the result was something better than people expected. These are times that grow our faith, and this church is full of joyful, capable, faithful people who have championed Youth Ministry for many, many years through many changes.
Every goodbye has a hello, and that is true for Adam and for us. Tears, hugs, high fives, funny memes, prayers and stories of God’s work in your life, bring them! Share them with Adam and each other. And then let’s see what hello, what new goodness is coming our way.
With a heart chock full of gratitude,