My name is Paul Hayden and I am the new pastor at Chapel by the Sea Presbyterian Church.  During my first two weeks at the church (yes, I have only been here two weeks) I have begun to get to know some wonderful people and a brand new community.  I guess it is never too late to start a new adventure.

Adventure.  I have always seen ministry as an adventure.  Adventure implies exploring and discovering new things. But, to get to those new things adventure also means a person must leave behind some old things.  For my wife Terri and me we have left some wonderful places and people to begin this new adventure in Lincoln City.  We lived in Jackson, Wyoming for 32 years and 20 years respectively.  We grew to know and love many people as well as the trails and slopes.  We left one of our sons in Jackson when we moved.  Starting a new adventure is not always easy…especially the letting go part.

But that is what adventure does.  You can’t have the new without letting go of some of what was in the past.  As a result of letting go, adventure implies times of great excitement and moments of deep sadness and sometimes sheer terror.  We all gravitate to that which is familiar: places, people, things, ideas, etc.  But, to go on an adventure means seeing something new, meeting people who are new, experiencing some things that is new.

I believe that God, in and through Jesus Christ, calls us to a life of adventure.  When Jesus began his ministry he proclaimed, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe this good news” (Mark 1:15).  Repent!  Let go!   Turn away from the past!  It is the only way you can move into the future.  I wonder if adventure is what the disciples felt when they laid down their fishing nets to follow Jesus?  I wonder if that is what my many friends have felt when they have laid down their lives here on earth and taken the hand of Jesus and entered into eternity?

Adventure.  I believe it is what the Christian life should be about.  I believe this is what God has called us to be about at Chapel by the Sea.

Come join God’s great adventure.

Pastor Paul