Dear members of our Andover community,
After a lot of time in discussion and prayer about this, Amy and I announced my resignation (some may call it retirement) as Pastor at Andover Community Church at the end of January 2020.
As most of you must be aware, our church recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of life together as a continuing Christian congregation in the historic church in East Andover. As some of you may also know, I have just finished 26 years as pastor of ACC.
Our six sons have all grown up in the community, attending AE/MS, some of them graduating from Merrimack Valley High School, and some at Laconia Christian Academy. They have been part of the Cub Scouts, and they have all participated in and benefitted from the excellent Andover Recreation sponsored sports teams coached by so many fine parent coaches over the years.
I have been privileged to be part of the lives of many of you in times of grief and family funerals, as well as times of joy (weddings, etc). I have also, for a season, had the privilege of being part of the Andover EMS with its capable, committed leadership (Probably I got more from it than I gave.). But most of all, as pastor of your historic Church in town, I have wanted to serve you by being able to present and explain the message of the Christian faith. After all it’s been around 2000 years. Despite the human failings and the detractors, you ought to know there are very good reasons why the Christian message continues to resonate with the hearts of people all over the world; reasons why the Christian community of faith continues to grow in these days, especially in the global South.
I have enjoyed conversations not only with those who come to the church, but also with believers, seekers, and the skeptical in the community. The Alpha course has been, and continues to be, one way we do this at ACC. Most importantly, it’s not just about conveying religious information and a hope-filled world-view about ultimate things. Just as important is the embodiment of the life of Christ in the people who profess the faith. And so, I commend to you our church – made up of imperfect people, no doubt about it, but nevertheless, people who will love and support anyone who comes among us seeking the truth of who God made them to be and God’s transforming love in Jesus Christ.
For Amy and I it has been hard, very hard, to now begin this process of leaving ACC, because we love the people there, and many of you in the community that we have come to know, as well. But we believe our assignment from the Lord as pastor here is drawing to a close. (Though we will continue to live in our home in this community for a while). And we are looking forward to see whom God has prepared to lead his Andover church into a new season of fruitfulness. Be looking for announcements about this, coming real soon!
John and Amy Wagner