Hi friend–

It can be challenging to represent Jesus in everyday life, can’t it? Especially in this season of political tension and volatility it can be even more so. I’m grateful that Jesus not only shows us the way, but also gives us all we need through his Spirit living in us. This Sunday, we’ll look at a key section of Scripture for wisdom as we seek to represent the One whose name we carry. If you missed last week’s message, you can catch that here. The prayer we said in unison is at the bottom of my note today.

Transitions are tough, and I’m writing about one of those today. Pastor Jelani Pinnock has been on our staff team since 2016, and has been such a blessing to our Grace family. We love him, Niasia, and their three children. Last year, Jelani decided to go part-time, and a few weeks ago, he let us know that he would be transitioning off of our staff team on July 14 so he can focus on some other ventures. Our friendship with Jelani and Niasia will continue, and you may see him leading at Grace from time to time.

Here’s a portion of the note he wrote:

In 2016, when my family moved to Cleveland from New York, we had one daughter who was nearly 4 (Atarah) and Niasia was pregnant with our 2nd (Amalya). Today we have 3 wonderful children; I still can’t believe little Aaron is an original Ohioan. You have cared for our family, walked alongside us through pain, supported us in our goings and comings and provided a place for our family to heal from many things we brought to Ohio. We have thrived here. That is why it is extremely difficult and emotionally painful to say my time and ministry as a staff member at Grace Church has now come to an end.

To follow our Lord is to live within constant tension and to feel safely unsafe, yet fearfully courageous. I want to please Jesus with all of my heart and become more like Him. I can see my family serving nomadically, traveling to lead more small teams in worship and spiritual renewal. Where are we going? Truly, I do not know, yet we trust Jesus to speak to us!

Please know we love you dearly and have cherished our time here, as it has been the most transformative move we have ever made as a young family. Nevertheless, we trust the power of God to be exceedingly transformative in the new leap of faith we take in this next season. With lovingkindness, in Jesus’ name, Team Pinnock!

Thanks for praying for the Pinnocks in this next season. We’re still on the same team and looking forward to serving Jesus until he comes again or calls us home! We serve a faithful God. We’ll keep you posted as the search begins for another worship leader at Grace.

Once again, we’ve attached a list of those in our church family who have lost a loved one.  Thanks for your prayers for these friends.

Trusting our unchanging Heavenly Father with you,

Jonathan