Community Updates

Staff Transition Update

John Haralson
March 30, 2022

Dear Grace Family,

As followers of Jesus, we are slowly being shaped by the Holy Spirit to be a community of people who become more and more like him. One of the ways Jesus is described in Scripture is as a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. As we continue to open ourselves up to God’s love for us, that creates a spaciousness within us that enables us to be present to all the things—both joyful and heartbreaking—that our loving Lord brings into our lives.

It is with openness to grief that I am passing along to you Danielle Taniguchi’s news below that she so eloquently shares with us. It will be a tremendous grief to lose her, Justin, and their children from our fellowship. But at the same time, we trust that the Lord has their good and our good in his heart as he brings this to us. Though we may not know what God is up to, we can trust in his love for us all.

Warmly in Christ,
John

Dear Grace Church,

Over a decade ago, Justin and I sat down in the pew (right siders #4life!) during our first service at Grace, and it was like being able to breathe again. The rest and peace was immediate and long-awaited. God has blessed us immeasurably by so many people in this church and it is with both sadness and joy that I share our news. Justin has accepted an exciting opportunity as an animator in Vancouver, BC. We grieve the separation this will cause while at the same time we rejoice with God for a wonderful new job for Justin.

Over the last 12 years, we have baptized 2 children, changed jobs, and moved houses. While change is an unavoidable part of life, the care and constancy of a church community who has held us in our grief, lifted us up during times of blessing, and walked with us through difficult seasons of waiting is not something we will ever take for granted. God is so incredibly good.

Our family has experienced deep joy here and I personally have been privileged to not only be a regular attendee but also a staff member (twice!). The work God has given me in serving our community has never felt like work. I walk into the church building each Sunday morning ready to give my time and energy, but also with the knowledge that I will be filled up and cared for by all of you and the rest of the staff, elders and deacons. That has been a true and rare gift and I am so sad to have to say goodbye.

Throughout the process of discerning our move, God has continually met my fears with kindness. He reminds me of his love for us. The most enduring reminder of that love is thinking of the years we’ve spent at this church. His love for us is far beyond all we can think or imagine. So that is my prayer. That we would believe that we are fully known and loved by our savior and creator. This is the love I’ve experienced here and what I hope to share with anyone I can.

Thank you for loving us so well. We will miss you all, but we will be back to visit often! We would be grateful for your prayers as we search for housing, schools, and a new church family in Vancouver. My last working Sunday at Grace will be June 5th.

Take heart and remember these words from Psalm 139:

Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths,
  you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.


In Christ,
Danielle Taniguchi


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