Many years ago a complete stranger emailed me, in Canada, from England. He said that he sensed a call to come to Eastern Canada. He had contacted several pastors in this region and they had all told him that it sounded like he would get along best with me and Rothesay Vineyard, the church I pastored at the time. I welcomed him to come and pay me a visit. He did. He came for a week and we talked non-stop and became friends.
He sensed that his call to come to Rothesay Vineyard was certain. He and his wife, Lyn, with their two kids Ben and Grace, started working on getting their visas. I think it was four years later they finally landed and became a part of our community. He and I had countless talks about ministry, since he had been in ministry for years in England. He was working now as a graphic designer. Not his highest passion, but it provided income at the time.
At that time I was still the pastor of Rothesay Vineyard, and had no idea that it would change.
About a year later, in April 2010, I felt the sudden and urgent necessity to resign as pastor from Rothesay VIneyard.
Jon was my obvious choice, as well as the leadership team's, to serve as interim pastor until a permanent pastor could be found. It was a suddenly chaotic transition for Rothesay Vineyard.
Today the church voted on whether Jon Hallewell would serve as their permanent pastor. I received a call on my cell while visiting my daughter at her University. I am happy to announce that Jon was voted in today by an astoundingly overwhelming majority. He's a very good pastor who has many of the qualities and gifts that Rothesay needs and wants in a pastor.
I am amazed at how our stories seem to be written for us in such gracious and surprising ways that we could never predict. His story is very much the same as mine when we felt called to become a part of the Rothesay Vineyard community in 1995 and a year later I was surprisingly voted in as their pastor.
I bless the church, with Jon as their new pastor, on their journey.
My soul can now rest.