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A Letter from the Transitional Pastor

Dear Carmel Pres Church Family,


I can’t tell you how much Cyndy and I have enjoyed our time with you here in Carmel and at CPC. It has been more life-giving and fulfilling than we could have imagined. However, it is with mixed emotions and yet confident hearts that I share with you that this part of the spiritual adventure for Cyndy and me as your Transitional Pastor is coming to an end. We recently received notice from our landlord that the owners of the house we’re currently renting plan to return to their home in Carmel in August, and our lease will end at the end of July. My last Sunday is going to be July 21st, and my last day in the office will be July 26th to allow us the time we need to pack and prepare for our move back to NC. I informed the Elders last night of this recent news and our new planned departure, and they fully concur with this letter and our departure date.


In the providence of God, I think the timing will actually work out well as He has designed. The Pastor Search Team is nearing a decision on a final candidate, and they may make a selection sometime in the next month. (If you missed the PST update in May, click here.) It is also possible they will have to have a candidate come and preach, the Session will call a congregational meeting, and you will have an opportunity to extend a call to the new pastor this Summer. There is a benefit to having a gap in between when the Transitional Pastor leaves and the new Pastor arrives—it helps the Transitional Pastor’s voice become more of a memory than a present experience, and it allows new leadership to step in without interference. In addition, the gap prevents the congregation from having to deal with a mixture of emotions—sadness over saying farewell to the Transitional Pastor and the joy and enthusiasm of welcoming the new Senior Pastor.


I always knew this day would eventually come, and I’ve sought to hold our time here with you loosely and view it as a temporary gift from God. My job was like John the Baptist—to help prepare the way for another. Also, I retired for a reason, and I know I don’t want to work this hard indefinitely. In addition, I want to have more time to see my grandkids and to travel.


But, I must confess that it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to you and to no longer have a church family that has come to mean so much to Cyndy and me. You all welcomed and embraced us so warmly, and I’ve had a ball working with you and the amazing staff of this church. It will be strange to wake up in the morning and not come to this place, and I’m going to miss the cool temperatures and all the beauty of the Central Coast. It’s a magical part of the world.


Courtney and Josh will preach during the weeks after I leave and before a new pastor arrives, and we can arrange for guest preachers as needed. Already we’ll get to hear from Rev. Dr. Richard Gibbons on August 4th! Thank you for the privilege of being with you in this season of ministry. It has been a more meaningful and joy-filled experience than I could have dreamed. I believe the Holy Spirit is moving in new ways at CPC, and I think you’re poised for an exciting new chapter in the future. Being with you has been an honor and a privilege, and I can’t thank you enough for the joy I’ve had being one of your pastors. You will always be dear to me, and Cyndy and I look forward to coming back to visit from time to time.


May God bless each of you richly as we all keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus and look to Him to lead us every step of the way into the future.



In His joy,


Peter Barnes

Transitional Pastor

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