January 17, 2022

Fairfax Family,

I’ve spoken often over the past two years about the unexpected challenges that life can bring. We have faced many of those challenges in 2020 and 2021, both locally and globally. Through it all, we have continued to witness the overwhelming provision of God and his unrelenting grace.

As we enter 2022, I find myself in the midst of my own unexpected challenge concerning my health. I have been diagnosed with lung cancer that has advanced beyond the lung itself. With help from some uniquely positioned people in our church, I have been blessed with an amazing medical team that has been forming around me. I have already begun initial treatments and am working with my doctors concerning an ongoing treatment plan.

This is certainly news that I never expected to get. I’ve never smoked nor been exposed to secondhand smoke. The good news is that reality offers some other treatment possibilities that are highly effective depending upon my unique genetic makeup and other health factors.

I appreciate your prayers as I journey down this unexpected path. I am filled with gratitude for all those who are surrounding me at this time and for the many expressions of God’s grace that I have already witnessed in this process. I am realistic about the seriousness of the disease, but I am also filled with faith and trust in the God who moves mountains and redeems all things.

Concerning how all of this will impact the church, it should be minimal. We have an amazing staff that will continue to effectively lead all of our ministry and mission efforts. Our Advisory Council (my bosses) is made up of both members of the congregation and national leaders in our denomination. It is a team filled with wisdom, discernment, spiritual maturity and organizational insight. They will be more visible during this time and will be providing guidance on my schedule during this season.

Concerning the weekend teaching schedule, I will be taking a little break during the next couple of months to focus on my treatment. We’re putting together an amazing teaching schedule that will include our teaching team and some special outside guests. We are blessed with so many wonderful resources in this area, and I’m excited about how these speakers will guide us as we launch this new year.

Valerie Nolan will be handling the majority of my communication during this time to make sure that questions, requests, inquiries, etc. are all handled in a timely manner and don’t get slowed down by my schedule. You can email Valerie at valerienolan@fairfax.cc. Feel free to reach out to her about anything, including questions you may have about how best to respond to all of this.

We have a praying congregation, and I know that you will be surrounding me in prayer during this time. Thank you! I am praying that God’s grace will be made manifest in my body. Specifically, I am praying for a treatment plan that will be highly effective in treating the cancer. I’m praying that God will redeem this in the same way that God can redeem all things.

This diagnosis came as a complete surprise to me, but it did not surprise God. God is already at work in all of this. He will not waste it. God will use it to proclaim the gospel, remind us that he is victorious in all things and bring God’s kingdom to Fairfax just as it is in heaven!

I love you Fairfax!