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Dear Hollywood Pres community,

 

It is with an array of emotions that I write you this update. After 5 full and formative years of interning and full-time ministry at FPCH, my time here is coming to a close. At the end of this month, Spencer and I will be moving back to our distant homeland of Orange County – maybe you’ve heard of it? While it is never easy to decide to go, we are excited to explore what God is calling us to in this next stage of life, marriage, and career. My last day at Hollywood will be March 29.

 


 

I can’t begin to tell you how much I have witnessed and learned, hashed and rehashed about the Kingdom of God in these past few years of church life with you. I have had the opportunity to see God at work in the wide range of community pockets here at Carlos and Gower… and beyond as engagement with our Missions Department led me to Campeche, Mexico; Frisco, Texas; and Washington D.C.! I have been mentored, encouraged, and prayed over by so many of you. You have seen me through my mid-twenties just starting out in seminary, through beginning to exercise my gifts of preaching and teaching, into marriage, and now just shy of my thirties! These past five years I have sensed God doing a deep work of refining in my heart – helping me discern my priorities, values, and vision for what’s ahead. I am so thankful for our time together, be it at the Lord’s Lighthouse, in the Studio with young adults, out and about, or in services. I am thankful for the ways you have trusted, empowered, and shaped me as a leader and minister. I will forever treasure the ways you have known and loved me as a friend. 

 

I do not have a “next career step” in mind just yet, and I am looking forward to a few months of down time as I take a summer break to reflect and pray over what has been as well as what might lie ahead. Spencer will be working another full summer lifeguarding for Newport Beach, and our move will save him the 4 hour round trip commute he undertook last year! We are looking forward to being closer to family for this next season, and seeing where God takes us from there. We would love your prayers over the opportunities and decisions that will be coming our way for the Fall.

 

This is not goodbye yet! I am so invested in and grateful for this last month ahead with you. Thank you, again, for all that you have poured into me, and allowed me to pour out as we seek the Kingdom together. God is up to good things.

 

With gratitude for what has been and hope for what’s to come,

-Maddie Smith

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