Dear Faith family,

As your newest member, I can’t wait to immerse myself in the life of the Faith Baptist Church family! Many of you have already kindly reached out to us to express your well wishes and extend encouraging words. Thank you! As you might expect, there will obviously be a learning curve as I assume the role of pastor at Faith, so I’m asking for some help from each of you during this transitional time.

Be patient!

These are busy days for the Skelly family, and we will need to juggle numbers of separate but important obligations over the next couple of months. Among them will be the joyous occasion of our son Joshua’s wedding next Friday, a pre-scheduled preaching trip to Australia the next week, the logistics of putting our home on the market and packing, the painstaking process of cancelling most of my preaching engagements already scheduled for the next couple of years, and the multifarious details related to relocating to Fredericksburg! Exciting? Yes! But hectic indeed.

During these days of transition, I will do the best I can to be fully engaged as your pastor. If I seem distracted at times, don’t take it personally! I’m probably just trying to remember what zip code I’m in. Expect for me to make mistakes! Unwittingly I will call some of you by the wrong name… Accept my apologies in advance! Just please know that I’ll do my best to get to know you quickly, pray for you consistently, and love you sincerely.

Be fully engaged!

These are not days to “wait and see” or to spectate from the bleachers. Let’s decide together to step on the playing field as a team and accomplish something great for the cause of Christ! These are exciting days, and I can’t help but see the providence of God in the timing of all of it. But a new year and a new pastor do not somehow guarantee a successful future. We must strive together—each of us—to fall in love with Jesus all over again and proclaim His grace and goodness to our Jerusalem and beyond.

One of the blessings of transitions is that we all have an opportunity to begin with a fresh start. Without any rigid preconceptions about each other, we can use this season of church transition to be a season of personal revival as well!

Be much in prayer!

Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. We need God desperately! Without His wisdom, we are certain to fail. These are days of intersecting paths, and we all know that intersections are prime locations for accidents. And keep in mind that we have a very real enemy who loves to attack during the uncertain days of transition. We are not ignorant of his devices.

The wonderful thing about prayer is that we can all do it. Not one of us has any more special access than any of us. Pray for wisdom. Pray for God’s power. Pray for protection for our church family. Pray for God to use us as His special instruments in 2017. Pray for our young people. Pray for us. Pray!

Be aware!

In the hustle and bustle of any busy season, there exists the tendency to lose focus and become temporarily oblivious to our immediate surroundings. Pickpockets know this. That’s why they do their best work in busy crowds. Don’t let the devil pickpocket your priority in this Christmas season or in this transitional time for our church. We are disciples of Jesus Christ, called to glorify Him by serving each other and reaching others with the life-changing gospel message.

I can’t wait to start!

With love,