We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3
The Bible is clear that God honors honor! As followers of Jesus we are called to give honor where honor is due, and today I want to dedicate this Gmail to honoring one of our own pastors, Pastor Janet Miclean.
Janet has served PCC as a pastor for 13 years. That deserves honor in and of itself when you consider that the average tenure of a pastor in America is 3.6 years! Janet has staying power, reflected in her tenure at PCC, as well as reflected in her almost 29-year marriage. Anyone who has been in relationship with Janet, me included, knows how faithful Janet is to steadfastness–an endangered trait in our culture today.
I honor Janet for her courage. Janet came on staff and served with her husband as Co-Student Ministries Pastors at a time that our Student Ministries experienced a terrible breach of pastoral trust. She and John walked into a trauma ward, with brokenness all around. God used their Christ-like character to rebuild trust and allow God to repair lives. It wasn’t easy, but they stepped up with humble courage. That courage would be repeated time and time again as Janet stepped into messy situations. (We are good at creating messes as God’s children!)
I saw her courage most on display as she began to teach on Sundays during our gatherings. As an Evangelical Covenant Church, we value the call and gifting of God on both men and women. As Janet taught in a more regular rotation on Sundays, at first, some pushed back. It hurt Janet, I saw that first-hand, but she stayed true to her calling and gifting and continued…and we are all better because of that.
Lastly (and I could go on and on), I honor Janet as a shepherd. I have learned first-hand about the tender mercies of God because I have seen them lived out in Janet. She is remarkable as a shepherd. A few years back we went together on a difficult pastoral call for a young woman who was in the final days of life due to cancer. We stepped into a dark room, spoke with our friend who was a shell of the woman she once was. We shared communion together and prayed. I left the room to minister to her husband and when I returned into the room, I saw Janet, lying in bed and holding this dear sister, literally being the arms and body of Jesus, enfleshing the very thing we asked Jesus to do for our sister.
That woman died the next day, I will hold that memory for the rest of my life. Janet wasn’t being heroic, she was being Janet!
You will find below, a letter from Janet describing her sense that her time at PCC is coming to a close. We will, at the end of Summer, spend time as a church honoring her, but I didn’t want to wait. As I told Janet, I totally get that this is God’s call for her, but I am personally bummed.
This is the reality of being in community, friends, God brings people to us, (Stay tuned for an announcement soon regarding this!) and God calls people away. Through it all, we are reminded, through the people God calls to shepherd PCC, how much Jesus loves his bride. Jesus has loved us well through Pastor Janet, and for that we thank Him and we honor her.
This week we continue in our Greatest Stories Ever Told series looking at the Parable of the Treasure in the Field…get some context and read up in Matthew 13, read especially slow through verses 44-46. PCC Hudson, you will benefit from the teaching of Pastor Scott Kirksey, all other Gatherings will have to put up with me!
I Love Being Your Pastor!