With this being my final first word I want to say, thank you! As I have spent the last six years exploring the stories of the people that make up FBC, I've realized that every story matters. I know they all might not make it into the magazine but these messy lives we live filled with victories, hurts, reconciliation, disappointments, and hope reveal the undeserved, unearned, and unearnable grace that God has given us and wants to share with others. None of us have it all figured out and that is ok, because God is a faithful God who has an unexpected story planned for you to share.
For my family, our story is beginning a new chapter. As many of you know I have accepted a position at Pinelake Church as their Creative Director and my last day to serve as your Director of Communications will be April 28. Additionally, through some events that only God could orchestrate, Savannah will be teaching second grade at Stonebridge Elementary in the Rankin County School District. My family didn't see this coming, but as Pastor Chip shared in February sometimes God opens a door, and you have to faithfully follow him through it relying on him to lead the way.
Naturally, with a life change and transition like this, Savannah and I keep thinking about the last six years. The most impactful lesson we learned is the need to find your people and living in community with them through d-groups and community groups. If you are new here at FBC or have been coming for a while, I urge you to search for your people because they are here. It won't be easy. Yes, you will have to put yourself out there, take risks, and build relationships. However, at the end of the day, that is how you move from just attending church to becoming a part of the church. For Savannah and I, the secret to finding our people was by deeply, transparently, and freely making ourselves known to and knowing others. Not in a superficial way like, "everyone knows my name I'm soooooo popular." (This isn't Mean Girls or Clueless.) What I'm talking about is honestly making the good and the bad of your life known so that God's grace can be made known. If today you want to take that next step of finding a group, simply start by going to fbcstarkville.com/groups and connect with the staff by completing the form at the top of the page. Helping you find your place is one of the staff's greatest joys at FBC.
In closing, I want to say, Thank You; for being the church and allowing us to be known flaws and all; for welcoming a Florida boy and a country girl into your lives; for celebrating with us in the excitement of marriage and carrying us in our darkest hours. You, the people of FBC Starkville, are loving, generous, and compassionate people and we love you all very much.
With much gratitude,
Bobby, Savannah, and Robby D'Alessandro