Pastor Curt & Kathaleen

A Letter From Pastor Curt - september 18, 2020

“Through Him (Jesus) we have also obtained access by faith into this Grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
Romans 5:2
Dear Grace of Christ Family,

There are several Biblical images for those who return: release from exile, prodigal wanderings, miraculous escapes.  None seemed to fit our return to Grace without applying excessive force to a chosen passage.

Gratitude & Grace

What does fit for Kathaleen, and for me, is a deep sense of gratitude for the grace in which we stand.  It has been 11 years since I preached my farewell sermon at then First Presbyterian, now Grace of Christ.  We served here fourteen years: both Ghormley and the church.  Your love for us, your kindness and patience, your forgiveness and grace, encouraged and inspired us.  Your friendship and faith made our parting tearful, humbling and yet filled with the hope of God.

In late 2009 we were given a different path to travel.  Kathaleen was finishing her year teaching at Naches Middle School, Rosie was in her final year at Naches High School, Tyler was a Sophomore.  I started my new role at Moses Lake Presbyterian.

Moses Lake Presbyterian is filled with good souls striving to live out, or learn about, Jesus.  We will always be indebted to our friends there.  But our home has been, and will always be, with you.

challenges, sorrows & joy

God brings humor and power to each season of our life.  For seven years we experienced both.  New significant friendships.  Challenges, sorrows, joys.  In January 2010 Haiti shook, crumbled, crushed.  Within weeks a conviction and a commitment.  Our engagement as a family and as a community led to eight trips in six years.  We are grateful to return to a church family that taught us the importance of loving the world in Christ’s name.  Your enduring passion for Cambodia and Yetebon, and others round the world, inspired us.

A surprising Homecoming

Our return was a surprise.  After seven years in Moses my phone rang.  A voice I had not heard in 10 years asked if I would return to Yakima and lead the team of chaplains at Memorial hospital.  That brought us back and immersed me in a new and energy-charged world.  It has been my honor to be a part of the great work of our community hospital.  New friendships, important conversations, and shared life with patients, their families, and the hospital staff.

I leave Memorial with a new understanding of God’s grace present in the midst of pain, His mercy in the face of uncertainty, His power in the midst of our weakness.  I leave Memorial because of the opportunity given by you, through Bill and your session, to return.  All of the rules that kept me disengaged after leaving no longer apply.  We are grateful for this gift to re-connect with many we have known from the past (please be patient as we put names and faces together again), while also entering into new friendships with those who have found their way here since our departure.  Many close friends have fought the good fight and finished the race and now are alive with Christ.  Some day we will follow them.  Until that day we will persevere (even pandemics), seek the direction and moving of God, love our neighbors, extend the grace of Jesus to a lonely, hungry, and desperate world, as we live out the days God provides us rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God.

Life around us changes.  Jesus remains the same.  His love, His mercy, and His Grace sustains, and empowers, us.  

Thank you for welcoming us again.  
Curt & Kathaleen