Dear Oliver Alliance Church Family,
“The steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord.” Every time I read this passage from Psalm 37:23 I’m reminded that my life is not my own. I belong to God. Teresa belongs to God. We’ve committed our individual lives, our marriage and our family to His calling and purpose. We’ve resolved to travel together down the path that He has set before us. We’ve entrusted our steps to Him.
It was God’s leading that brought us to Oliver in June of 2008. He gave us a passion for this city and over the last few years we’ve developed a love for each and every one of you. The blessings of God have been abundant and you have made this journey so wonderful.
Today is so difficult. Through many months of prayer and Godly counsel we are convinced that God is asking us to travel down a new path that will lead us away from Oliver and away from the OAC family. This decision is the most difficult one we’ve had to make up to this point in our ministry. The difficulty comes not in saying yes to the Lord, but in saying goodbye to all of you.
God has been reminding us lately of Proverbs 16:9. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” The Lord has been stirring our hearts and we can say with full certainty that our time here is coming to an end. Today, December 13, 2011, I am officially resigning as your pastor; our last Sunday will be February 26, 2012.
After this time of transition Teresa and I will be moving to Bonnyville, Alberta to start as the Lead (Solo) Pastor at Bonnyville Fellowship Alliance Church starting on Sunday April 1, 2012. We are stepping out in faith believing God has a new work for us there, in a different area of the vineyard. God has asked us to go and we’ve said yes to His call.
Please hear these words from the bottom of our hearts. Though our relationship as your pastors will change, our love for all of you will not. That’s why this is so difficult. We’ve become family over the past few years and now we’re moving away. As hard as it is to say goodbye the fact is we’re still family. As a matter of fact, maybe goodbye is the wrong word. The phrase “see you later” seems more appropriate.
One day we’ll all be together again, but this time it will be forever. We’ll spend eternity together in the presence of the Lord. What a glorious day that will be. In the meantime, let me share verse 25 of the Psalm that I opened with: “I was young and now I’m old, but I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or the children begging for bread.” That’s a promise that we can all hang on to during this time.
God directs our steps and promises not to leave us nor forsake us. I’m confident that if God is leading us on to something new and wonderful then the same is true for all of you. God will not take from one at the expense of another. If God is preparing to bless Teresa and me with a new work then He’s preparing to bless all of you with a new pastor. We really believe that your best days are yet ahead, and though we will not always be your pastors we will always be family.
Respectfully submitted with love for all you,
Steve and Teresa McLean, and family.