Dear Corrales Church Family,
I have some news to share with all of you. My family and I will be leaving New Mexico in October. After serving in the Texico Conference for almost 6 years, I have accepted the call to serve as Worship and Outreach Pastor at the New Hope Adventist Church in Maryland.
I wasn’t planning on leaving Corrales. I wasn’t going after a change of scenery. However, God surprised me with this opportunity at an unexpected time. The story of how all this developed is surreal, to say the least. It is clear to me that God’s providence was manifested in my life during these last few weeks.
I want to thank the Texico Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for believing in me in a time when I needed confirmation in my calling as a pastor, and for giving me opportunities to grow and develop. Pastor Lee-Roy Chacon and Pastor Phil Robertson, you both have become family to me. You’re not only my leaders, you have become my friends. I will miss you greatly!
I want to thank the Corrales SDA Church for embracing me and loving me during my time here. I couldn’t have asked for a better church to start my ministry. You allowed me to be myself, and I am thankful for that. We experienced so much together and I learned so much from you.
I’m emotional as I write this, because you were my first love. And the love that I have for this church will always be with me. I know all of you by name, and I will always carry you in my heart, because that’s where I will keep the memories we shared together. I will miss you greatly!
My bond with the Land of Enchantment is permanent. Both of my children were born here. This is the place where they learned to walk. I will always remind Noah and Stella of their New Mexican roots, sharing with them how much we loved living here. I’ll remind them about how beautiful it was to drive around with a view of the Sandias. I’ll remind them of how breathtaking it was to experience Balloon Fiesta. I’ll remind them of the joy of having red and green chile easily accessible. I’ll remind them of how pleasant it was to live in a dry weather. I’ll remind them of my favorite places in New Mexico, like the White Sand Dunes, Las Conchas, Valles Caldera, Abiquiu, Tent Rocks, Sandia Peak, and so many others. But most importantly, I’ll remind them of the beautiful and loving people we met along the way.
My friends, I hope I get a chance to say goodbye to all of you. We still have plenty of time for that. What breaks my heart is knowing that after we leave, there are some of you who I’ll probably not see again in this life. However, I hope and pray that we can all meet again in the life to come. This is not our home. This is not the place we belong. We were created for more.
May the hope of Christ’s return be ingrained in our hearts, and may our life in the Spirit be the outflow of that hope.
I love you all.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”. (John 13:25).
Pastor Andre Arrais