Letter from Pastor John:
February 11, 2018
Rev. David Bonnema has accepted a call to serve as the pastor at the Unity Presbyterian Church near Denver, North Carolina, at Lake Norman, outside of Charlotte. David’s last Sunday at PCPC will be March 11th.
David and Sarah have been a wonderful part of the PCPC community since 2008 when he began his service here as the Youth Director. He came to PCPC after graduating from Whitworth University in Washington State. Soon after his arrival he married Sarah, a college classmate, and during their time at PCPC, their family grew by two, as their daughters Riley and Zoe arrived.
While serving as PCPC’s Youth Director, David enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, and graduated in 2013 with his Masters of Divinity. A year later he was ordained after accepting PCPC’s call to serve as an Associate Pastor. Since then he has been the pastor shepherding the Connection community, preaching, pastoring, and supervising PCPC’s Youth Ministry program. He has also served in several leadership positions for Tampa Bay Presbytery.
David’s bright mind, unusually affable spirit, authentic faith, and his personal friendship have all been a means of God’s blessing us here at PCPC. It has been such a sweet and meaningful connection that we are all understandably reluctant to let David and his family go. Yet at the same time, it is easy to understand how his gifts will be a blessing to the larger church, to admire his own sincerity in discerning God’s call, and to wish them Godspeed and support them all with our prayers.
The Unity Presbyterian Church in Denver, NC is a congregation of about 400 members with a very long and good history, dating back to the 1700’s. Over time the geographically lovely community has increasingly become an exurb of Charlotte, Davidson, Belmont and Gastonia. David and his family will usher them into a new chapter.
PCPC will, for the immediate future, cover David‘s responsibilities with existing staff, and after we have celebrated his ministry and blessed them in their move, then the Session and pastors will begin to work at making provisions for the longer term.
David’s last Sunday preaching at PCPC will be Sunday, March 11th, and the church will host a reception in the Fellowship Hall at 10:00 am until 11:00 am, and then again at noon until 12:30 to allow the congregation to thank the Bonnemas and wish them well. Those desiring to send David and Sarah and the girls cards of best wishes can do so care of the church office, at 3501 San Jose St., Tampa, FL 33629, or at Bonnema@palmaceia.org
Letter from Rev. David Bonnema:
Sunday, Feb 11, 2018
Dear Elders and Friends,
With this letter, I formally notify you that I have accepted the call to be the Senior Pastor/Head of Staff of Unity Presbyterian Church in Denver, NC. My last Sunday at Palma Ceia will be March 11, 2018.
I want to deeply thank you for your hospitality and kindness over the last ten years of ministry. PCPC has become a community of dear friends. I arrived in Tampa in June of 2008. I drove across the country from Washington to Florida just days after my college graduation. Over the next decade, I have had the immense privilege of serving this church through the areas of youth ministry, contemporary worship, and mission outreach. Through your encouragement, prayerful support, friendship, and willingness to give me opportunities to grow, God has helped me learn how to be a pastor here. I am extremely grateful for all I have learned.
I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to help lead the contemporary service for the past five years. Working with Roger Sullins and the contemporary band, planning team, and tech team was deeply fulfilling and enriching. I am overjoyed at the ways that God uses that service to welcome new people into the family of faith on a weekly basis. I believe the Connection worship community is strong and vibrant and has a bright future ahead.
I am humbled at the way the youth ministry of this church has grown over the last decade. This ministry is in the very capable hands of Kenny Hubbell, one of the best youth directors I have ever encountered. It has been an honor to work with the countless volunteers who serve in youth group, youth camps, mission trips, Sundays School and Bible Study. Some of my favorite memories of PCPC include playing games, serving on mission trips, and witnessing the spiritual growth of our middle and high school students.
This place has been an amazing home for my wife Sarah and children Zoe and Riley. They have been welcomed with open arms and hearts. My children were welcomed and baptized here and have begun to learn about the love of God through PCPC’s love and care. For this I am eternally grateful.
I have also benefited immensely from my own relationships with PCPC staff, particularly the mentorship of John DeBevoise, the best leader I know. It is difficult to leave such an amazing community.
As I get ready for this transition, I am reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses. Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
As I move into this new opportunity to become a senior pastor, I leave knowing that I am following the call of God, who sends each of us to share the good news. I am confident that the God who led me across the country to Florida will continue to lead into this new chapter of our lives. I am excited to continue to learn and grow as a pastor in this new context. Although I say goodbye as a pastor, I know that the friendships that have been created here will be lifelong relationships.
Associate Pastor, PCPC