Dear Christian Church in Ohio,
When I was called in January 2020 to serve as the Regional Program Director, we had no idea that in a few short months, our world and our church would be forever changed by a global pandemic. Together, we did our best to follow the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, trying to follow where God was leading us through this season of living in wilderness.
Together, we began monthly clergy zoom calls to support one another, share resources and ideas, and to give encouragement during a difficult time. We responded to the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd with leadership from our Anti-Racism Commission and the Ohio Black Pastors. We made the tough decision to cancel the 2020 Camp Christian schedule. We had Christmas and Lenten video devotionals. We worked hard to bring back Camp Christian programming in 2021. We did our best to be the church.
It was not the call that I thought I was accepting in January 2020. It was, however, an opportunity to lean into God’s presence in Ohio for the past couple of years. We may still be spending some time in the wilderness, but we will never be apart from the love of God we come to know in Jesus Christ. My prayer is that our time together has been good and faithful in our shared vision of living out the call to be ambassadors of Christ’s love, peace, and justice to this world.
Friends, my time with you all in this journey is nearing its end. My role as Regional Program Director will conclude at the end of September and more than anything, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the church as the Regional Program Director. It has been an honor to minister to the Ohio Region in this capacity.
I certainly made mistakes during my time here, and for those errors, I apologize. My hope was only ever to serve God faithfully, and for the times I missed the mark, I ask for forgiveness and continued prayers to learn from my missteps and to better serve God in the future.
Thank you to Jennie Stoddart Bernard, Wendy Taylor, Ted Nelson, Tom Bowerman-Jett, Bruce Bowerman-Jett, Rev. Allen Harris, and Candis Wilson for being such helpful people to work and serve with over these past couple of years.
Please know that I will be praying for the future of the Ohio Region. I believe in the good work and the vision that Rev. Allen Harris and our Regional Church Council are engaged in, and I can already see the way that the transformative power of the Holy Spirit is guiding our church forward into more faithful servanthood.
It has been an honor and a blessing to serve alongside you. Thank you for all of the prayers, affirmations, encouragement, gentle corrections, and constant love along the way.
Peace and Love,
Rev. Alan Dicken