Dear Whitehill Church,
I am both sad and excited to announce that my season at Whitehill is coming to a close. I’m sad because I have so enjoyed being part of this community for the last 10 years, but I am also excited because a new and exciting chapter for Whitehill is just beginning. This has not been an easy decision, but I have spent significant time discerning my next best step. It has become clear to me, my mentors, friends and my family that a season of rest is what would be the next right thing for me.
I started regularly attending Whitehill in 2011, though I had been visiting for a year or two leading up, and I started on staff in 2013 leading the youth ministry. I never would have expected that my life would be so greatly impacted by Jesus through this community. Never did I think I would be on staff either! But as I look back on my season, I can so clearly see the Holy Spirit at work. I have learnt so much, I have seen God do so many incredible things and I have only grown in my love for Jesus and His Church.
There is a verse in Mark I feel that will mark and summarise the next season of my journey: Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 NIV
I have had a wonderful season at Whitehill, but over the years I have taken on too much and not set the priority to step away and rest well enough. There has been so much going on, and trying to balance theological study and personal life with ministry has been a challenge. I am now heading into a season of rest and discernment as I listen to the Holy Spirit in what is next in my life. I don’t have firm plans for next year, but it will likely include domestic travel visiting friends and family around Australia. This will also mean that I won’t be a regular part of the Whitehill community for this next season. My final day on staff at Whitehill will be December 27, 2020.
I have so enjoyed working with all the staff and elders over my time at Whitehill. This year in particular Pastor Roger, the staff and elders have all been so supportive and helpful to help me work through the year and move towards a healthier place. I am not finishing up my season because I am unhappy with how things are, I am in full support of the leadership and direction God is calling us to.
I really do believe our best days are ahead, there are almost endless possibilities and opportunities to impact our community and world through the Whitehill community if we follow the Spirit’s leading. I look forward to hearing about all that God continues to do into the future in and through the Whitehill Community.
Pastor Ben Kulp.