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Moving Forward With Gratitude: A Farewell and a New Beginning

As our Church gathers for the last time at 2919 Promenade Street in West Sacramento, we are reminded of the constant movement in life - from one phase to the next, from one physical location to another. This transition is proof of God's divine direction, guiding us from the past and leading us into a new chapter.

In times of change, our perspective can greatly influence our response. Do we perceive our circumstances as a path leading us towards God's purpose or do we allow the clamor of the world to overwhelm us, akin to trying to discern clear messages amidst the blare of multiple TV sets? The latter approach can leave us disoriented and unable to distinguish valuable guidance.

During this past year, as your Pastor, I've experienced this scenario. Amidst multiple voices speaking into the future of our Church and my personal life, some echoed hope and optimism, while others, unable to see the grand plan, proposed walking away. But amidst these conflicting voices, our challenge is to quiet our souls, seeking the divine Voice of Truth to resonate above all fears, anxiety, and misplaced hopes.

Paul's letters to the Philippians offer a guiding light here. Amidst challenging circumstances, he emphasized joyfulness and thankfulness. As he said in Philippians 2:14-18 (NIV): "Do everything without grumbling or arguing...shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life...even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me."

The essence here is that grumbling can prevent us from growing a pure heart. What if we intentionally reduced our grumbling and arguing with God? Might this help us hold firmly to His word of life?

Moving forward, we have the opportunity to shape our future narratives. Looking at the past decade, we see the themes and focus points that have evolved in our Church. If we stay bound to old narratives, we'll remain rooted in the past. Instead, let's declutter our spiritual space, leaving behind what no longer serves us, and embrace God's new plan with thanksgiving and optimism.

As we transition to our temporary home at Lighthouse Church, let's not forget the Providence of God – His protective care that ensures we are never abandoned. Let's focus on creating fruitful spaces and look forward to more visible opportunities to serve.

In this phase of our journey, let us remember Paul's words in Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV): "Rejoice in the Lord always... Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The essence here is that a prayerful heart full of gratitude unlocks a peace beyond human comprehension. In all our circumstances, let us be thankful – not for the circumstances themselves, but for Jesus, His accomplishments for us, our heavenly inheritance, and God's unchanging character.

As we bid farewell to our old home, let us take a moment to thank God for the joy and pain, loss and gain, lessons and blessings we've experienced here. Let's thank Him for the confessions of faith, the marriages, the memorials, the children's songs, the baptisms, the repentance, and the prayers answered.

Now, as we step into the unknown, let's do so not with fear or trepidation, but with gratitude and anticipation. God goes before us, He is with us, and He will sustain us. In Him, we look forward to the glory of the future, the joy set before us.

In Jesus' Mighty name, be the glory forever and ever, Amen!

Pastor Micah Moreno

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