Dear Evanston Vineyard Church Family,
Last week, Dave Sandell, our longtime Pastor of Communications and Administration, decided to resign from his pastoral position. Dave has been a member of the pastoral team for twelve years, and we are grieved that he will no longer be a part of our staff. His fingerprints are on everything we’ve done – from online services to website to social media to special services and many more things, too many to list. His keen eye and strategic insight have served the church so well. During the pandemic, I cannot imagine being able to do church without him. His contribution was invaluable.
A statement from him is below.
Hello everyone. I want to announce that I am leaving my pastoral position at the Evanston Vineyard. The circumstances of COVID-19 have been very challenging for my family, and even more so since e-learning began. Continuing to perform my job well and be the parent my children need me to be is proving unsustainable. After much prayer, thoughtful consideration, and communal discernment, it seems clear that God is asking me to say yes to giving all of myself to my family. I made a choice long ago that I was always going to say yes to God, even when it’s hard or comes with loss. Saying yes to God led me to the Evanston Vineyard, it led me to my role on staff, and it led to 12 fruitful years of creativity and hard work. I am grateful for my time on this team, and I trust that saying yes to God now will allow my children to flourish.
I cherish this church. It is a place where Jesus constantly transforms people’s lives — including mine — and the work the pastoral staff does makes it a good and safe place for anyone who is open to letting Jesus capture their heart. I’m proud that I got to contribute to that work in meaningful ways — often behind the scenes, sometimes out front. At every step of the way, I’ve been supported by passionate, creative people, and faithful volunteers. Thank you to everyone I’ve served with or have had the pleasure of serving in some way (which is most people at the Evanston Vineyard.) And thank you to Ted for gently insisting that I prioritize my spiritual, emotional and physical health over the needs of the church.
The Evanston Vineyard will continue to be our church home. I love being in this community with all of you. I’m excited for you all to see what we’ve been dreaming up behind the scenes in the coming weeks, months and years. I look forward to being a part of it from the pews, serving again in some capacity when the time is right, and seeing all of you again when the building reopens.
If you have questions or would like to know more about this decision, my email will be active for a few more weeks.
While we are going to miss Dave, we are also so proud of him and the decision he’s making. Prioritizing his spiritual life, his marriage, and his children are high values to us and to our emerging work culture, and we believe that much good will come of it.
I’m sure that Dave would welcome any words of appreciation and gratitude you have for him. You can reach him at [email protected]
Grace and peace to you,