April 12, 2021
Send Well Wishes to Gary
A Letter from Lead Pastor Gary
In my office is a shepherd’s crook that was given to me after being installed as your Lead Pastor in 2003. “This is to remind you that at the end of the day, your calling is to shepherd God’s people,” my benefactor explained as he handed me the crook. Over the past 18 years, being your Lead Pastor has brought blessings and challenges for us all, but that shepherd’s crook has served to ground me and remind me of my high calling and sacred stewardship that our Chief Shepherd has entrusted to me.
That Chief Shepherd is now calling me to take that crook into a broader pasture. In June, I will complete my sacred stewardship of being your Lead Pastor. I have agreed to join the team of Transforming the Bay with Christ (TBC). I will be pouring myself into deepening the roots of unity and expanding the reach of the Christian Body in the Bay Area, serving to catalyze the unstoppable force of the Gospel.
My new role will maximize my gifting and passion for the broader body of Christ to link arms across denominations to:
- Unify with supernatural oneness, so the Bay can know Jesus
- Amplify Kingdom-growth through acts of humble service
- Multiply the Gospel through church planting
Just as Anne and I came to PCC by faith in 1997 to serve as your Pastor to Students and Families, just as Anne and I said yes by faith to the Leadership Council on our doorstep in 2003 when they called me (in person) to be your next Lead Pastor, Anne and I cannot deny the stirrings of the Holy Spirit and the clear call to, by faith, leave PCC and step into this new role.
In embracing my new calling to TBC, I have the sure hope that God is calling a new leader with a fresh new voice, new vision, and new insights to take up their own shepherd’s crook and lead PCC into the future God is calling you into. PCC, you are well poised for that future.
Below is a letter from the Leadership Team Officers explaining the transition plan. Knowing that plan, knowing the caliber of the staff of PCC, knowing the existing and the new Leadership Team members (whom we will vote for in May), knowing the character of so many who call PCC home, I am confident of a God-sized future for PCC.
Words fail me in trying to describe our experience in the PCC community these past 24 years. You have not only witnessed me growing up professionally, but our family grow and grow up as well. Anne, our five daughters, and I are and will always be eternally grateful for you.
While the time is coming to lay down my shepherd’s crook at PCC, Jesus will never lay down His Chief Shepherd’s crook. His track record of shepherding PCC over the past 70 years is wonderful.
I have loved being your Pastor!
PCC Church Officers’ Letter
By now you have read Gary’s letter of resignation as the Lead Pastor of PCC. We are certain that you will agree that as our shepherd from the Lord for the past 18 years, Gary has been a true blessing from God as our leader, our chief teacher and as our friend. His authentic presence and humble submission to the Holy Spirit have graced the platform and our lives. His vision for a transformed Peninsula has informed our mission statement and directed our steps as a church for the past decade. That commitment has ultimately led to Gary’s natural transition into the TBC team.
Our purpose in writing to you is to outline the transition plan as Gary’s departure approaches. Even as we grieve the loss of our lead pastor, we are comforted that just as Gary is walking with the Lord into his next calling, PCC is likewise loved by God and is moving forward in step with His perfect will. The summary that follows is based on our ongoing dialogue with the denomination and our prayers for discernment.
Your elected Leadership Team voted to call Brian Rhen to serve as the PCC Transition Lead Pastor and he has accepted that role. We fully expect a transition period of at least a year. Halfway through that time, we will assemble a search team and begin the process of identifying our new Lead Pastor. As the Transition Lead Pastor, Brian cannot be considered for the future lead pastor position. Gary’s last Sunday will be June 27. Six weeks prior to that date, in keeping with our constitution and bylaws, Gary will begin a process of shifting his responsibilities to Brian and his Lead Team.
Your PCC Officers have been blessed with exceptional colleagues on the Leadership Team (LST) and we are all working together to ensure that PCC continues to thrive during these uncertain times. We covet your prayers for endurance and wisdom as we move forward, and for humility and devotion to the movement of God’s Spirit here at PCC and in Redwood City. We are also here to answer your questions. Please feel free to contact Meritt Lohr Sawyer or John Dearborn with any questions.
We love serving the Lord and PCC.
John Dearborn, Chair
Maureen Becker, Vice Chair
Shawn Rankin, Treasurer