This August we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate a retirement at University Presbyterian Church that will bring to mind the words of our Savior, “well done, good and faithful servant!”
Chris Nichols will be stepping out of his role as Executive Director of Ministry as of August 31, 2022.
Three years ago God brought Chris to us in a moment of great opportunity. Our elders were sensing a fresh call on our church to engage with Jesus in authentic and transformational ways and to join Jesus, alive and at work beyond ourselves in the neighborhoods of Seattle and around the world. Chris noticed from afar in Boston. He wrote, “I am drawn to ministry that is committed to a transformational relationship with Jesus in order to bring gospel change to the world around it.” And soon he and Ellen were among us praying, serving, leading, and helping us as Jesus has been doing his work.
It’s been a challenging and wonderful three years. In the last year Jesus has drawn more than sixty of us to new faith in him! Angels are rejoicing in heaven. Chris has been a big part of that and much more. He’s helped align our ministries to our strategy so that – at every age – we can be formed as disciples in communities like family on mission for neighbors (“formissional community”).
Chris has given us generous lead time to help us make plans that will deepen and extend these efforts. I’m working with Chris, Jennifer Kenney (Executive Director of Operations), our pastors, and our elders on a smooth and strong transition to a new Executive Director of Ministry.
Please join us in praying both for Chris and for the new generation of staff leadership God is calling to UPC. Jesus instructs us to “ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest” (Matthew 9:38). He is the one who bears his fruit in our lives, and he is the one who moves us around his vineyard. It’s a joy to serve with Chris. And when it’s time for the Lord to move him along and others in, we will rejoice with grateful hearts.
In the meantime, let’s join Jesus in his mission to reconcile all people. And please know what a privilege and joy it is for me to be in the harvest together with you.