To the cherished congregation of Country Club Christian Church—

With both heaviness and hope in my heart I announce that my last Sunday at Country Club Christian Church will be Sunday, August 13. In the weeks to follow, Mitch and I will make a move across the country to New York City, where we will both begin a new chapter in our professional and personal journeys.

The heaviness I feel is not from any sense of burden but rather the sheer weight of how much good there has been in the five years I have spent leading, living, and growing with this community. From my first days as Minister to Youth to the way my ministry has evolved into my current position as Minister of Faith Formation, I have shared countless moments and built profound relationships through our worship, learning, and travel together. From Sunday nights playing hide-and-seek with youth to trips across the country and the globe during which I have discovered new things about where we fit into the wholeness of our world— these years have been more meaningful than I knew they could be when I first moved to Kansas City.

The hope I feel is two-fold. First, I am hopeful for the opportunities that prompt this parting and transition. As many of you know, I have long been interested in pursuing doctoral studies. I have an opportunity to do so at Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey, where I will study Bible & Cultures with a focus on queer Biblical interpretation. I am eager, too, to also serve as the Minister of Spiritual Formation and LGBTQIA+ Development at Christ Church NYC, an ecumenically-minded United Methodist Church in the historic Upper East Side. This context for ministry and study will be the right match as I grow the gifts so well-watered in my time here in Kansas City. Mitch and I are excited, too, as a dream opportunity to grow in his creative career in hair and fashion has also become a reality.

Second, I am hopeful for I know that physical distance will not mean an absence of continued mutual growth. I am excited for what’s ahead in the life and community of Country Club Christian Church as I continue to work to create together flourishing ministries, programs, and access points to our community life. I am hopeful, too, for this faith community will always be the home it has become in these past five years.

I look forward to treasuring these last few weeks we have in this season and pray that we realize together the full potential of what this transition can be.

In peace and with love—

Rev. Tyler Heston
Minister of Faith Formation