A letter from lead pastor Josh Conn
September 16, 2019
Dear 217church board, elders and congregation,
It has been a privilege to be among you as the lead pastor of 217church over the past 10 years. We have pursued a dream of rebuilding lives one person at a time and have seen so much spiritual fruit. I believe mercer county is better off because of your great sacrifice and partnership in ministry.
You have allowed me the honor of being your pastor and you have personally walked with me from the beginning of 217church, including all the excitement and disappointments along the way. You have watched my family grow up over this past decade and have loved us generously through adoption, graduation and many birthdays.
Through much prayer and consideration, In the past months we have felt a gradual release from our call to leadership here. In this season in our lives we feel it is necessary and best to live and be close to our family in the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, I have accepted a call to be lead pastor at a church in Oregon. This letter is to officially tender my resignation as Lead Pastor of 217church.
Our family is strong, the church is strong, the board is outstanding and we believe the timing is right for us to step aside to fully support a new leadership and pastor to flourish here. It is impossible to express all of our heart and overflow of gratitude for your partnership, friendship and sacrifice for us in one letter. We know God has incredible things planned for you as God leads you towards this next chapter in ministry with a new visionary perspective. It is with deep love, gratitude and humility that I ask you to accept this resignation. You have added immeasurable love and grace to our lives. I encourage you to persevere in rebuilding lives together and to care for one another with deep affection.
With love and appreciation,
Josh & Summer Conn
A letter from the 217church board and elders
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
On behalf of the 217 Governing Board, I am here to tell you that we have accepted Josh’s resignation. Reluctantly maybe, but with full understanding that, in this season, he and his family need to move back home. It is a decision that we honor; in fact, it is a decision we applaud.
We want to thank Josh and his family for their incredible dedication and service to our church family. Josh has provided us with tremendous, Spirit-filled leadership and a laser-focused vision to be a Church for those who aren’t in church yet. Mercer county is better off because of his (and his family’s) great sacrifice and love for people.
We will miss Josh for sure, but he is leaving us a tremendous legacy. It is our job now to build on that legacy and to pursue fervently that dream of rebuilding lives one person at a time. Church leadership and staff are committed to do just that.
Josh will continue to be with us and will continue to fulfil his duties until November 17, 2019.
Between now and then, the Governing Board and Elders will work together with the District to conduct a search for our next Lead Pastor. That process will begin tomorrow.
We don’t know exactly when God will reveal our next leader. However, we do know that we will be prayerful in that process; we do know that we are committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. We are confident that the Holy Spirit will guide us in our search. Rest assured, we will rely on your unwavering support and that of the District to identify the right lead pastor in the given time frame.
Change can be difficult; the unknown can be scary. As we approach this change, it is fitting to remember what God had to say after a change in leadership in Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
The Lord our God has given us a calling here at 217 church. We are here for a reason. Today, even as we start to feel the loss of the only lead pastor we have ever known, we need to remember that our mission as a church remains; we have work to do. God wants us to continue that work. And so does Josh.
We hope all of you will join us in lifting up 217church and its leadership in prayer as we embark on this next chapter for our church.
Thank you. Please monitor our website for additional information as it becomes available.
The Board of 217church
Any feedback, questions or suggestions that you may have can be sent to