From Pastor Leo

62249495_10162143758420284_8999835782420103168_oIn 2016 I was thrilled to accept a call from God, the Oregon Synod, and our local community to begin an LGBTQIA+ and ally outreach ministry. To come together with so many fabulous people to help build The Flame has been one of the greatest privileges and joys of my life.

At this point in my life, I am unable to give this beautiful community the energy and attention that I would like. It is really tough to balance two high energy jobs that I love. I am healthy and doing ok, but am also tired and in need of some rest.

I have discerned a call to step back and let another leader carry forward this incredible ministry. I am delighted that Matta Ghaly has accepted a call to be the new pastor of the Flame, and am confident that the Holy Spirit is up to some wondrous, healing work in and through this community.

As we transition in this strange time of pandemic, Matta and I will co-pastor the Flame during April and May.

Starting in June I will take a brief sabbatical from church work, while I continue to support hospitals in my tech role at Nuance. The sabbatical means that I will practice saying no if you invite me to preach or visit your congregation. 😊 In church terms, this means I will be going “on leave from call.” I also plan on working on my handstands and hopefully making progress on that darn novel.

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me and the Flame along the way. I hope and pray that you will continue to support this important and life-saving ministry going forward while I take the time to discern the next adventure to which God is calling me.

I am still dreaming big for the vision and community of the Flame, and I believe in these incredible people and their new pastor.

Thank you again for letting me be a part of this journey, and stay tuned for what’s next.

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