Important Letter from Pastor David


Dear friends and members of ACC. 

I am writing to inform you of a personal decision I have reached that will have an impact on our church.

A couple of years ago, I began to pray about how and when I should transition out of my role as pastor of ACC and pass the baton to a younger leader. As I approach the age of retirement, the eventual need to take this step is inevitable. Aware of this, my sense is that now is a good season for our church to approach such a change.

Since last summer, the elders and I have been discussing a succession plan. They have all expressed a desire for me to stay longer, but have been supportive of my belief that our congregation is in a healthy place right now to work through a pastoral transition. 

As a result of this deliberative process, I have decided to resign from my position as pastor of ACC, effective June 5. I will be accepting a call to serve as an Assistant Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church Eastside. 

Sobeyda has played an important role in making this decision with me. Her counsel and encouragement have been invaluable. Though we both have heavy hearts at the thought of leaving our community at ACC, we share a sense that this is the right step for us to take. 

As excited as I am about my new position at Redeemer, I am even more excited about what lies ahead for ACC. The last few years have been difficult for churches around the world, but I am thrilled to see how our congregation is rebounding from the pandemic. New people are joining the church and new ministry initiatives are taking root. I am confident that, with God’s help, a new pastor with fresh vision will be able to lead this church forward in significant ways. Indeed, I expect that ACC has many years of fruitful growth and ministry in its future.

After the worship service, on Sunday, April 23, we will hold a town hall meeting at the synagogue to share more information. Our plan for the meeting is to:

  • Answer questions you may have about my decision.
  • Explain the process of finding and calling a new pastor.
  • Introduce the interim pastor we are calling to lead ACC through this time of transition, while the church looks for a new pastor.
  • Pray together for our church.

After the worship service, on Sunday, May 7, we will have a congregational meeting for members of ACC to:

  • Vote to dissolve my pastoral relation with the church.
  • Nominate and elect a search committee, tasked with researching and recruiting a new prospective pastor.
  • Pray together for our church.

For the last 21 years, I have had the honor of serving as pastor of Astoria Community Church. Serving as your pastor has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. A minister could not ask for a more loving and supportive congregation than you have been to me. Though I feel sorrow at making this decision, my sorrow is outweighed by a deep sense of gratitude to God for the joy of following Jesus with all of you.

As one of the founding pastors of our church, the process of entrusting this ministry to new pastoral leadership is as important to me as anything I have done in my years of serving here. So I hope you will be able to attend the upcoming meetings planned for our church, and that you will keep Sobeyda and me and our whole congregation in prayer as we enter this time of transition.

Your pastor,

David Ellis