September 28, 2022

Hello church family and friends – Today I want to share my heart with you and communicate something important, joyful and exciting. Many of you may already know that a few weeks ago (9/11/22), Pastor Wally Kurcz announced to the church that he would be retiring as of January 2023, and that I would be taking over his responsibilities as lead pastor.

First of all, I want to say that I am sad to be losing my pastor. I know that he’ll still be just a phone call away, but I will miss seeing him and sitting under his teaching every week. Pastor Wally has been such a huge blessing in my life over the past few years – mentoring and pastoring me as God was preparing me for such a huge responsibility. He has faithfully taught through God’s Word chapter by chapter and verse by verse – filled with the Holy Spirit and always with a careful eye on the flock. I’ve learned so much from him as I have watched him love and care for this flock through some real trying times: the effects of COVID and the lockdowns and all of the social issues that have come up have been so challenging to navigate as a pastor… as we lost our meeting place, were separated from one another, and lost many members of our family all while dealing with an increasingly agitated and divided culture around us and a constant threat of an outbreak of sickness. Pastor Wally has come through this with a supernatural grace, love and confidence that can only be found in a man of God. In the process he has shown me so much about waiting on the Lord and loving people in hard times. I cannot express how thankful I am to God for Pastor Wally and his ministry.

I am also so excited! God put this call on my heart many years ago – only shortly after I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. For some time I thought it was just a phase and I tried to push it aside, but like the prophet Jeremiah said it became like “…a burning fire shut up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9 ESV). When I finally purposed to be obedient and follow the calling that God put in my heart the path was not straightforward, often taking unexpected twists and turns along the way. For years I have looked for guidance and counsel from godly mentors, church leaders and Bible School professors. But in every victory and every heartbreak, God has been teaching me and preparing me along the way. All the while, He was leading me here – home – to this beautiful group of brothers and sisters in NE Denver. I thank God for leading me here, right where I needed to be, and when I needed to be there. His plans have been so much better than anything I can imagine. Although I don’t know what God has in store for us here in this little corner of Green Valley Ranch, I trust Him that it is so much better than any of my plans.

I thank God for my family – in all of this, they have been tremendously patient and supportive. Kids are often seen as a hindrance; and a family with more than 2 kids can sometimes be looked on as some kind of mix of saint and lunatic for taking on that kind of challenge. But I am in full agreement with my Lord who tells us that “children are a heritage from the Lord,… Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!…” (Psalm 127:3-4) My kids – especially my older sons – have been so supportive and helpful. It is a joy to see them serve willingly and pray and develop into the people that God is making them.

I especially thank God for my wonderful bride – Melissa- who has walked and prayed with me and sometimes rejoiced and cried with me through wonderful and painful seasons. Through all of the ups and downs she has been steady and supportive while God was doing a work in my heart to make me into a man fit to serve and lead. This hasn’t always been easy – I haven’t always been up to the challenge – but Melissa has always supported and loved me through this. I thank God for her strength and grace as she has been not only my support and the backbone of our family- but also the main financial provider for many years. Proverbs 31:10-31 begins with the question “An excellent wife who can find?..” and then goes on to describe my bride line by line. The answer to the question is “ME… I found an excellent wife – with God’s help.” I thank God for her; He couldn’t have blessed me with a better partner. I pray that He will bless her and comfort her in this next stage

All-in-all, I am just thankful to God for all of the blessings He has given me, and for how he has arranged my footsteps to bring us here. This is a huge blessing and also a huge responsibility. I look forward to seeing how God will work in my life and family and the wonderful lighthouse that is Calvary Green Valley Ranch.

Please pray for me and my family; for strength, wisdom and balance – we will need it. And please join us in our joy as we follow the steps God has laid out for us.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Matthew