My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”   – John 17:20-23

     Wow, what a crazy Sunday my last Sunday ended up being. I felt like death, and probably looked I was dying too. Thankfully, the next day I was feeling much better and we were able to leave for Illinois. As a quick update: we have arrived in Illinois safely, and are pretty much settled in now. Thank you to everyone for their prayers and support that made a safe move possible.

      So, I wanted to write this post because of how little I was able to involve myself in that last Sunday. I have recorded and posted the sermon that I was going to preach. I also wanted to type up what I was going to say in my final goodbye. I would encourage you to listen to my sermon, as part of what I mention here relates back to it.

“The Proof of Discipleship” (Dylan’s Last Sunday)

This week: On Dylan’s Last Sunday he was sick and couldn’t preach. As promised, recording from his new living room couch in Illinois, this is the sermon he was planning to preach on April 8th. Join us in John 13:31-38 as we talk about Jesus’ new command as a proof of discipleship.

Thank You

      Hannah and I were so incredibly blessed in our time in Litchfield. So many members of this congregation have blessed us with their time, friendship, prayers, a house to stay in, and in many other ways. FCC has been incredibly generous with us. I loved my job and was so grateful to the opportunity to work with all of the wonderful children and teens in our church community. Thank you to each person of the congregation. Whether you were a parent that entrusted me with your children, a teen that I built many fond memories with, or another congregation member with a warm smile on  Sunday morning, or anything in between, I am incredible thankful. I will continue to pray for this congregation and already pray for a deepening of faith and widening of growth for another 300 years with even more life change.

       I already miss so many people, but can rest assured in the verse that I shared in my sermon. In John 17 Jesus is praying a powerful prayer just before going to the cross. In verses 20-23 (highlighted at the top of this page) Jesus is praying for unity of the believers. As I spoke about in my sermon, this unity is one of love, just as Jesus loved us; this unity is also a unity that defies space. What I mean by this is that no matter how far we go from one another, we are still united in Christ. I believe that this common faith in Christ bonds us in a way that nothing else can. This means that even if I am never able to see you again in this life, if we hold the faith and run this race to the end, we will be able to meet up on the other side of the new heaven and earth. Oh the stories we will be able to share with one another. See you then! Thank you!

Your brother in Christ,

-Dylan Ackley