Pastor's Blog

Twenty. And Still Standing. Posted 10.10.2014

This week it has been twenty years since the Welch family put down roots in the South Bay. Twenty years.  You may know the story from Peninsula’s side of things, but there is another side, the side I’ve been contemplating all week long.


I had been the youth pastor at a church in Rancho Mirage for close to nine years and realized it was probably time to move on.  Lots of reasons, but they aren’t important now.  So I began to send out resumes for maybe six months, with no results.  It was time to change bait.  I rewrote my resume, which was for me, a bold step.  I called it my “power resume.”  I laid aside all humility and made myself look as good as possible (with integrity, of course).  It worked. 

Within a short time, I had two churches interested in pursuing a long term relationship.  Oh man, two choices.  One in the South Bay.  One in rural California. We tracked through the process with both churches, and were honest with each of them along the way.


We came to Peninsula for an interview in July.  It was a Sunday afternoon and we spent most of it in the Lounge being grilled by the search committee.  They were nice enough, but very thorough.  Then we headed to Ethel Swenson’s townhouse for an amazing dinner. Christie got some recipes we still use today!  It was that good.  By September we were here candidating for a weekend.  It was a whirlwind few days as we were whisked from group to group, sometimes with the kids, sometimes without.  Our heads were spinning.


What stands out in my mind is the preparation for meeting with the Board of Deacons (the “Elders” back in those days).  I think it was one of the last meetings on the calendar.  And I don’t think Kurth DeMoss or Hani Nachef really trusted fully how I would respond.  So we went out to dinner before the meeting and they coached up my answers to the questions they thought would come.  Looking back, that’s a complement actually, because they wanted me to do well (or they wanted to be done with the search process….you pick the answer).


Obviously it went well enough (you can blame Kurth and Hani) and it wasn’t long until a vote by the congregation sealed your decision.  I had made mine.  It would not be wise to lead the church this far through the process and then not come.  So I we were ready with our answer.  By October we had moved all our stuff from Indio to Redondo Beach.  It was not easy for us to say goodbye to dear friends.  It wasn’t easy to turn down that “other” church in a rural setting.  Had we really done the right thing?


Life is like that some times.  You make a decision – and can’t look back.  Did I know what I was getting into?  Probably not.  But God provided enough light to take the next step for us as a church family.  Twenty amazing years later – God is still good, all of the time.  May we continue to know that God.

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Stephanie wrote...
3/30/15 12:04pm
Pastor, I just went searching for help and came upon this particular blog. I am not really sure I made a wise life decision 3years ago. It's definitely a pivitol time in the process of assessing my situation. Prayer is definitely needed and comforting from the Holy Spirit! I will re read daily your blog and hear the whispers of God in my heart. Right now, however, I'm just not sure!


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