I have some bittersweet news to share with you- Penny Harrison, our founding, first, favorite, only-one-we’ve-ever-had- children’s pastor is resigning effective June 30th. For Penny, it’s absolutely the right call. God is intensifying her calling in several areas and she is courageously stepping out in obedience as the Spirit leads her into a new and unknown direction (see below for a short note from Penny on this decision.) Pray for Penny over the next couple of months as she closes out her time as our children’s pastor. Ask the Lord to give her grace to give away everything she has to our kids. Also, pray for Penny to hear clearly what is next for her and for boldness to continue to take those steps of obedience.
In the economy of God, if this decision is best for Penny, it is also best for Pathfinders. I know that is hard to imagine on April 11th, but I trust it is so. God is a Good Father to us all and I don’t believe the obedience of one of His children will negatively affect His other children. So pray for our Admin Team as they begin the process of hiring a new children’s pastor. We aren’t trying to replace Penny- who can?- but rather asking the Lord to connect us to the one He is calling to lead our children in this next season of StoneBridge.
For the children- nothing will change in the near term. Penny will continue to pastor our kids with the same level of compassion, dedication, and enthusiasm that she has brought to Pathfinders since its inception. She will be ‘all here’ until the last minute of her last day. Penny is committed to helping us transition PathFinders well and I expect that will be the case. We will keep you posted on the search process as those details are finalized. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
David graciously used the term bittersweet to describe the news of my resignation as Children’s Pastor.
I’ve described how I feel as the two sides of a coin. One side is a nervous excitement. Excited for what God has in store for me, but also nervous because I have only a sense of what that is with no definite answers. The other side is sadness. Sadness to leave the kids, families, and volunteers I love so much. Sadness to not be a part of the StoneBridge staff that is not just a group of co-workers or friends, but family.
Much has changed in my life since I began this journey into Children’s Ministry 18 years ago. Some children I pastored in my early years now have babies of their own, my two boys have grown up and left the nest, I’ve moved more times than I’d like to remember, and I’ve been a part of and led two children’s ministries. One thing that has not changed is my overwhelming passion for and calling to share and teach God’s Word. I’m not sure yet when, where, or how God will have me live out that calling in this next stage, but with Him, I rest assured it will be an adventure.
I’d love to share all the many small and big ways being the Children’s Pastor to the best kids in Marietta has enriched and blessed my life; however, I can’t write that book in an email. Suffice it to say that I will be telling as many of you who will listen that very thing over the next 2 ½ months. For now, please know this…when my final day in PathFinders is done, and I find myself putting away baskets, taking down signs, folding up tables, and generally “closing up shop” for the last time, I will be leaving behind a huge chunk of my heart.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of sowing seeds in the lives and hearts of the StoneBridge children. Even after all this time, I am still humbled every day by the responsibility and trust awarded me in doing this job. I am enormously grateful, and truly believe the Lord used children’s ministry to change my life as much, if not more, than He used me to change the lives of others.
With much love and tremendous gratefulness,
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