An announcement from Dave Parsons, Chairman of the Executive Board of Elders
For the past 27 years it has been my joy, privilege, and honor to serve Jesus, alongside my friend and brother in Christ, Lou Huesmann. As God would have it, I am here to announce his resignation as Sr. Pastor of Grace Brethren Church of Long Beach. At possibly the lowest point in my experience in leadership, I sat across the table from Lou and Laurie this past Tuesday and received his message to the elders that it was his intention to resign effective January 28, 2018. Lou has been my longtime friend, spiritual mentor and pastor for 27 years. It is extremely difficult for me to imagine what the future will be like without him occupying those multiple roles.
This past summer the elders began a process of attempting to understand the condition and health of our church. This process was born out of an understanding that our church was in need of healing and the elders wanted to take that seriously. We began an honest dialogue about our strengths and weaknesses, and met with many of you to attempt to better understand the heart and longings of our church. Upon Lou’s return from sabbatical, the elders initiated a process of conversation with Lou regarding the board’s findings. Through a series of conversations and prayer, Lou has decided to resign as senior pastor.
In the 24 hours following my meeting with Lou and Laurie I experienced an unimaginable sense of loss and grief. I believe that God allowed me to go through that experience so that I and the rest of the leadership here at Grace would be better equipped to shepherd a grieving church body.
I’m not through grieving, and I don’t expect that many of you will transition from grief to hope quickly. It will take time. This is a time that we truly need one another, as a body of believers, to come out of this time of transition with confidence in our loving God and hope for the future. A future that He has already created for us.
I’ll close with a reminder of some of the words shared a couple of Sundays ago by Marsha Dobler to describe you, the body of believers here at Grace: a loving, caring and generous group of people who care deeply for one another and that your care extends beyond the walls this church. That is the legacy that Lou and Laurie leave behind, a body of Christ followers who love one another with kindness and care for all whom God puts in front of us.
May the Lord bless us and keep us and cause his face to shine upon us in this season of our history.