Dear Faith Lutheran Church,
This last month has been very interesting in the Escher household. Early in August I received two additional calls apart from my call here at Faith within an hour of each other, both in Florida. This sent Coli and me on a journey that has been both spiritual and physical. While we have been on this path, we were continuously praying to our Heavenly Father for clarity as to where we should serve.
Coli and I believe we have clarity, because we have an uncommon peace about our decision.
I am accepting the call to Grace Lutheran Church in Port Saint Lucie, Florida and therefore am declining my current call at Faith Lutheran Church and declining the call that was also extended to me at Trinity Lutheran Church in Panama City, Florida.
This was no easy decision, as it has taken much time, travel, expense, and prayer to understand where we should be and serve. Visiting with all of the people in the Port St. Lucie and Panama City areas, having difficult conversations, asking and answering tough questions, and making memories on our two visits was an enjoyable and productive time. We used the visits as an opportunity to see how God is working in different areas and how we might serve the Kingdom in a new way.
As we have wrestled with whether or not to remain in Northwest Arkansas or pursue service in another place, we have reflected on ministry opportunities, our own strengths and weaknesses, and the gifts and needs of the three congregations and communities in which they reside. We are ready to begin a new journey in Florida by serving in Port St. Lucie, though we will miss you all and hope nothing but the best for you in the future.
Thank you for your friendship, partnership, and love over these past five years. Bentonville is where we served in full time ministry for the first time, bought our first home, have lived as a married couple the longest, and learned to call the Hogs. We have so many happy memories tied to serving alongside you at Faith and out in the community. We will miss this place.
We pray that you all may continue to grow in Christ and be a beacon to the Northwest Arkansas community.
Cris and Coli Escher