Dear Burnaby Pacific Grace Church,
On behalf of Briony and I, thank you for walking with us in this season of life. You shared the ministry of Jesus Christ with us and we are eternally grateful for this. We share so many fond memories with you. You are a church that 1) loves Jesus Christ and 2) loves people. Never lose sight of the great commandment and the great commission. But we are a church that needs the grace and mercy of forgiveness every day of our lives. Always extend the grace of God to anyone who walks through these doors of BPGC. And be sure to extend that same grace and mercy to your brothers and sisters in Christ; as well as to yourself.
Church, guard the leadership of Christ’s church as the office of elder (deacon) and the office of deacon (department head) come with great responsibilities. Let the teachings of scripture move the hearts of people to serve these roles. Pray earnestly for our leaders as they need wisdom and humility from God. And also obey your leaders because God calls them and God will strictly judge them accordingly. Church, don’t gossip. Don’t slander. Don’t be indifferent. Don’t be afraid to take risks for the sake of the Gospel. Test all things with Holy Scripture.
I will never forget my first Sunday with you in January of 2009. You showered me with love and warm embrace. You shared words like, “we have waited so long for a youth pastor”. You greeted me with handshakes and hugs. I know it was your intention to make me feel welcome. But I knew that there was an indirect or sometimes direct vibe that I would save the youth ministry. But as you hopefully now know, I am not a savior. I am a sinner, so imperfect and so lost that I, like you, cling onto Jesus Christ for my faith, my hope, and my love. I am your friend and your brother in Christ. Yes, I have had the privilege and honor of being your pastor. It’s a privilege I took very seriously. And it has been a great privilege to share with you the good news and great joy of knowing Jesus Christ.
Church, may I encourage you with Ephesians 2:4-10,
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
To the staff, leaders, volunteers and congregation of BPGC, we love you.
Your friends and brother and sister in Christ,
Andy Hy and Briony Taylor