2 Messages from 2 People
Dear Evergreen Family,
NINE AND A HALF YEARS AGO, Ryan and I visited Evergreen Bible Church for the first time, just a few months prior to our engagement. A kind man noticed us as visitors, and greeted us as friends. I was so surprised, in a good way, when after the greeting time he took his stand at the pulpit and preached from the Holy Bible.
I remember loving that youth were up on stage leading worship. It made me excited to be a part of a body that invested in the young people and gave them opportunities to serve before “fine-tuning” had had time to take place.
I remember that we’d been married just a couple months when I attended my first women’s retreat. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, and my biggest take away was that this was a Body full of grace.
Here we are, nearly a decade later, and I am so delighted and proud that I can still affirm: the pastor is definitely friendly, and he does notice people; the young people have a place and are encouraged to participate in “grown-up people” things; and yes, this is a Body full of grace.
It has been an incredible honor to share in the fold at Evergreen, as a pastor’s wife. Oh the fun we had working with those awesome teenagers! What wonderful children you parents have—thank you for sharing them with us at youth group, and retreats, and mission trips! They were hands-down highlights of our last several years. We have also enjoyed the younger ones in children’s church and nursery—precious children, reminding us of the straight-up trust and belief that we are called to as children of God.
While we will miss so many aspects of the role Ryan is leaving, we are excited to continue in relationship and service with you all at EBC while we forge into a new chapter of business-running. Thank you for all your love and support in this transition!
The gift-card bouquet, and the sentiments written… How can we express our gratitude?!?! Thank you so much! We sat at the kitchen table reading card after card of love and thanks, and receiving so many tokens of that love. How blessed and humbled we are. Thank you, dear Church, from the bottom of our hearts.
Love in Christ, Leanne Donovan
I LOVE EVERGREEN BIBLE CHURCH. I am so thankful to the Lord that He brought us here. When we started attending in December of 2006, we had no idea what was in store. We were simply looking for a place to worship God together with others who loved God and honored His word. Little did we know that a year and a half later, God would surprise us with an opportunity for me to join the staff at EBC. By the time we came on staff, we knew EBC well enough to know we were glad to be a part of the church and excited to start serving part-time in leading the Youth Ministry. But we didn’t know if it would be a good fit for us to join the team. I only knew Toby a little bit, and I didn’t know Sharon or Linda-Ann much at all. There were a lot more unknowns than knowns.
In the 8 years since joining the team, I’ve been tremendously blessed by my relationships with Toby, Sharon and Linda-Ann, in addition to Corey, and then Matt, and most recently and briefly, with Ryan A. As a team, we know a lot about each other. We know a lot about one another’s strengths and weaknesses. We know have to make each other laugh, and we know what not to say or do to help us not get frustrated with each other. We have developed significant trust with one another, we’ve said plenty of “Thank You’s”, as well as our fair share of “I’m Sorry’s”. The EBC Staff isn’t just a bunch of co-workers. We’re friends. No, more than that, we are close friends. I have loved working with each of them so much.
I love my church family, I love the opportunities I’ve been afforded to serve the Lord at EBC, and I love the chance to come together in worship each weekend. I am so thankful that, though my role at EBC changes, I will still be able to love this church family, serve the Lord as a part of this church family, and enjoy worshipping the Lord together with the church family. I’m so thankful I don’t have to leave those blessings behind with my job change. But there is genuine sadness to know that I will no longer be co-workers with our awesome church staff. Of course I will still have relationships with each of them and their families, and I expect those will continue to be some of my closest relationships at EBC. But I am going to miss the daily interactions with this great team so much. I can say with great confidence that the staff that serves this church body is made up of amazing people, who love Jesus, love each other, and love and serve all of you with gratitude.
Like Leanne said, too, thank you all so much for the kindness expressed through notes and gift cards. What a blessing! And by no means is this the first time we’ve received many blessings. We’ve been blessed time and again while I’ve been a part of the staff. Over the last 8 years we’ve received so much kindness, so much grace, so much love. We always have felt supported and cared for. I know I can speak for Leanne, and for Mabel and Estelle, too, in saying we all love Evergreen Bible Church, and we hope to be a part of this church body for the years, and hopefully even decades, to come!