Niceville Campus eLetter
Thursday, June 23, 2022
From our Lead Pastor
At the ripe young age of 15, I announced to the world that I was “called to preach” and promptly began speaking in all types of church settings. As one of the speakers at my high school graduation, I quoted Robert Frost’s poem: The Road Not Taken.
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;"
I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."
I don’t think Robert Frost was a Christian, but for me, taking the road less travelled certainly has explained almost everything about my Christian journey! Indeed, it “has made all the difference”.
The Bible scripts all of this better than Frost, about choosing the right path and that it is a narrow path: Proverbs 3:5-6…NIV…5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”.
As I now assume “Retired Status” with the United Methodist Church, I will continue part time with Crosspoint. I am just “retiring from the stress” and “returning to the street” in ministry. I have been 43 years in “formal ministry” with the UMC, 53 years in “informal ministry”, with 24 of those years here at Crosspoint.
This Sunday (June 26) is my last Sunday as Lead Pastor of Crosspoint. These 24 years have been the best years of my life. The people of Crosspoint are all incredible. I “retire” whole, happy, and filled with great gratitude. You have been a healing balm to my soul. The paths that the Lord has led me on have brought a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
I also am extremely excited about Rev. Jeremy Smith becoming the next Lead Pastor at Crosspoint. He is the most capable pastor I know. He is extremely gifted, great spiritual depth, and all the skills needed to lead Crosspoint into the next season of ministry…the post-pandemic world. We are blessed to have him and I look forward to his being my pastor, too.
I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart and covet your prayers for me and Jeremy as we both enter into new seasons of ministry. I will take a two month “sabbatical” and will look forward to serving in a part time role for Crosspoint beginning September 1!!
God bless you,
Rurel Ausley, Lead Pastor