Dear Hope Family,
Below you will find a letter from Michael Kuehn, our Director of Worship. He outlines and explains his decision to answer God’s call to depart from Hope and to take a new position at Grace Presbyterian Church in Kernersville. Changes in vocation are complex and disruptive for all involved, and all sorts of questions rise to the surface in the face of these delicate decisions. While I cannot pretend to discern all the questions and emotions that this transition elicits, I do need to underscore several things so that we are not tempted to fill gaps and silences with assumptions and projections. There is no conflict that drives Michael’s departure. There is certainly no scandal. Rather, Michael’s call to serve another church is motivated by a humility before and stewardship of God’s call on his life. Of course, sadness accompanies this change as do sincere questions of how God will provide for Hope in the wake of an unforeseen.
Michael has been an exemplary leader and God’s kind provision for us in a time of transition and trailblazing even before the pandemic took us deep into the trenches of simply maintaining corporate worship. I personally have grown from Michael’s presence, friendship, and partnership in the Gospel. I am very sad to see him depart but I do not for a second begrudge him this opportunity. Please pray for God to help us find a person to take up the good work Michael has begun and carry it further for the ministry of the Gospel at Hope.
Grace and peace,
Dear Hope family,
Throughout Scripture we are taught that the Lord ordains our steps, marks our appointed times, and establishes the work of our hands. He is sovereign over the ends and sovereign over the means, always accomplishing his purposes for his glory and our good. I am continually learning how to trust and lean into that when it comes to my sense of call to ministry. God has shown tremendous kindness and brilliance in the way he has provided for me and equipped me for ministry, weaving together the threads of relationships, communities, academics, and opportunities. Tracing those threads over the last few months has led to exciting and unexpected places, culminating in his calling me from Hope Church to a new season of service at Grace Kernersville as the Director of Worship and Christian Education.
This is an exciting opportunity because it combines my deep passion for worship leadership with a variety of teaching and educational responsibilities, which were the primary reasons I pursued a seminary degree. It was also unexpected because growth and opportunity could be found in a variety of places, but the Lord in his mercy has seen fit to place me in a church community where I have served previously. I will begin my work at Grace on August 1st.
Hazel and I prayed and discussed everything at length, and marveled at the peace in our hearts on the other side of it. We trusted the Spirit’s leading but also sought wisdom and counsel from others, which only brought further affirmation. I don’t share that to suggest it was simple, but rather to underscore that we apprehended the weight of such things. We cherish our Hope community. We have been overwhelmed time and again by your love, encouragement, support, wisdom, generosity, and compassion. Plus, there is something powerfully unique in friendships that were forged in the fires of a global pandemic!
We could never fully express our gratitude and love to all of you. I will forever read Philippians 1:3 with a little more depth: “I thank my God every time I remember you.” We carry a sadness alongside our excitement, because we will truly miss being together each week. But we are extremely grateful that we will still be nearby and able to carry our relationships forward.
Our God is working great things in our midst to build his kingdom in the Triad, and it is a privilege to labor together whether near or far. Let us continue praying together for transitions and provision, giving thanks for all the Lord has done and will continue to do.
Soli Deo Gloria,