The following letter is an announcement from the Reverend Katelyn Gordon Cooke, followed by a communication from the Reverend Pen Peery.
Dear First Presbyterian friends,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I write this letter to you with a heart that is full – full of gratitude, sadness, excitement, grief, and love.
A little less than a year after Andy and I were married here at First Presbyterian, we have a received a call to serve as co-pastors at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Georgia. My last Sunday at FPC will be October 7.
I have loved serving as one of your pastors for the past four years. This church has such faithful energy, and it has been a joy to be part of your work for Christ in the heart of Charlotte. You have helped me to grow in my faith and my role as a pastor, and I am so grateful for this chapter of ministry with you. Thank you for your trust, encouragement, and friendship. Personally, FPC will always hold a special place in my heart as the community where Andy and I began our married life together. We love you dearly.
God has made the way clear for Andy and me to be in ministry in Augusta, and we believe this is our call for this season of life. It’s important to us to be closer to Andy’s boys, who live in Newnan, Georgia, and we are excited to be able to serve a church together.
Transitions are often messy and difficult, and still we trust that God is faithful and steadfast. In the midst of this transition, I give deep thanks for the ways the Spirit has been at work here and continues to be at work in and through each of you.
Katelyn Gordon Cooke
Friends in Christ,
I find Katelyn’s news to be bittersweet. I am grateful to God for Katelyn’s ministry these past four years, and am grateful that she and Andy can grow together in their marriage and their ministry as co-pastors in Augusta, Georgia. At the same time, I will miss Katelyn’s gifts as a part of our staff team.
So I hope you will join me in wishing Katelyn well at a reception in the Wood Fellowship Hall after the 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday, September 30. For those who would like to show your appreciation in a tangible way (as you have done so generously with other pastors and staff), you can send a check to be collected as a love offering for Katelyn to the church office at Jan Gaddis’ attention.
One of the things I have appreciated about how Katelyn has navigated her new call to Augusta is that she has been very communicative with me. As such, I have been able to be in conversation with our church’s Personnel Committee about how we can continue to provide excellent staff support for our ministry and mission. Soon, I will come to the Session with a staffing plan – both short and long-term. Losing two associate pastors in consecutive months is not common or ideal, but it does afford us an opportunity to align our staff with God’s call. I am confident that God is at work through this transition to guide us to a faithful and vibrant place.
In faith, hope, and love –