“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” – Acts 8:4 (NIV)
Last October, our congregation was notified that Bethel University had decided to close Bethel Seminary San Diego (BSSD) and sell the building. Since then, our staff and vestry have stayed in a conversation with a group of local supporters of BSSD who wanted to retain ownership of the building and begin their own seminary. There were signs of real possibility through the negotiation between the University and this local group. However, this past week, I was notified that those negotiations have stalled and both groups are moving on. I spoke with a university official on Friday, May 10th, who informed me that our last Sunday will need to be August 11th.
Such a turn of events can understandably raise our anxiety. There is no shame in that. We are finite and know little to nothing of the future. However, we do know who holds the future and we know He loves us beyond measure. What lies ahead will look different than our past, but we can be assured that God is at work to bring us good. Let us be open to His definition of the ‘good’ and praise Him as the one who gives and the one who takes away.
There is a pattern in Scripture of God asking people to endure costly moves through which He brings greater blessing. Abram left everything so that the Lord could bless the whole earth; the Israelites endured a risky journey through the wilderness to become God’s special possession; and the early church was scattered from Jerusalem because of persecution, and yet they preached the word wherever they went. This move will involve difficulty and change, but God is faithful.
Please pray for our vestry and staff as we renew our search for a new location. If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to contact me, or any member of the staff or vestry. Additionally, please share any potential locations with the vestry.
Yours in Christ,