TFC Connections – October 2023

TFC Connections – October 2023

Having open hands and an open heart can be a scary thing—especially when it comes to your Call.  


About a year and a half ago, I began sensing the Holy Spirit prompting in my spirit the readiness for a change. By then, I served a church in Coronado for just over 13 years. It is the place where I received my first call as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. So a very special place with tremendous support from a congregation, the Session, and staff. During my time serving the church, my family grew from just two to five—and we were loved well.  


As the Holy Spirit continued to prompt in my spirit the readiness for change, we did the only thing we knew, pray and discern. The process was not easy, but my heart’s desire to remain faithful to the Lord and the Spirit’s Will in our lives was (and remains) the highest priority. The journey took me on a journey to meeting lots of different worshipping communities with in our denomination.  


I do not believe there are accidents in God’s economy. If God is Sovereign, then we can trust in the Lord’s Providence—which is simply “guidance or care.”  


At the National Gathering this year, in Plano, Texas, where we are encouraged, equipped, and connect with other like-minded brothers and sisters in ministry, a good friend introduced me to the Senior Pastor at Providence Presbyterian Church in South Carolina. They were in the process of discerning who the Lord might be calling as their next Associate Pastor.


Again, I do not believe there are coincidences with God who is sovereign over all things. When we also consider the Lord is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, along with all-loving—there is no room for “happenstance.


Through several weeks of prayer and discernment, seeking the counsel of those who know me well, and working with the Associate Pastor Search Committee—on paper, the church and I appeared to a be a great fit.


Then comes the conversation with our children, who will be impacted by a move from San Diego to South Carolina—which is more than 2500 miles (you’re welcome to connect with me at for places to stay). We wanted to invite them into the process of discerning God’s will, not just for me, but for the entire family. I will never forget what one son said to encourage me prior meeting virtually with the APSC, “Dad, they are going to love you!” Call it a sign. Call it encouragement. Yes, his words to me were all those things, but most of all, they were affirmation that our family was truly seeking the Lord’s will in all this.


As we prayed for clarity—we received it. We prayed for a smooth transition—and I could not have imagined a smoother transition. For all three of our children (8, 11, and 13), God’s Providence most certainly extends to them! There are too many moments to share how often the Lord has shown up to answer our prayers and to provide care for our family.


Looking back at the process, there were moments I doubted, questioned, and maybe even thought—this is unreal, it cannot be true. God showed up! As I reflect on what God did in caring for us, I cannot help but think there is no better place to be than in God’s care and guidance. The Lord who loves us unconditionally, who knows and understands our needs, the Lord who created and formed us in the “secret place.” All I can say now is “thank you, Lord.”  


We are blessed to share with that on Sunday, October 15, 2023, I was installed as the Associate Pastor of Providence Presbyterian Church. Coincidence…not a chance!


John Joseph

TFC Board Member