An Update from C.J. and Renee’

Dear friends and family,

Hello from San Francisco! It has been a truly incredible year for the Bergmens here in the city. We are so grateful for your continued support for our family, through prayer and financial gifts. We wanted to update you on some pretty significant transitions up ahead for us.

As many of you know, Renee’ and I have had a love for San Francisco for many years. When we decided to come here 2 years ago, it was out of a sense of God’s call to this city, more-so even than our specific role, more than having a steady paycheck, we simply felt the Lord leading us to come and live in San Francisco, to be in it for the long haul, to raise our kids here, to live the gospel out every day to people that may not know about Jesus, and pray that the Lord would do a work in our midst to draw people to Himself. We have seen Him be so good to us as we have followed this call, and we remain as committed today to San Francisco as we have been since day one.

Recently, Justin Anderson (Lead pastor of Redemption San Francisco) came to me and told me that he and Abraham (the other pastor of Redemption San Francisco) had thoughtfully, prayerfully, and with counsel, made the decision to let me go from Redemption. Justin was clear to tell me that it was not because I had done anything morally wrong, not because of incompetence, and not because he does not like me as a person. He felt that our professional differences were cause for us to part ways at this time. He felt that we have spent 2 years working at it, but that there is no sense that either of us would thrive in this context in our respective roles. Justin also communicated that because my particular style of worship leading does not align with his vision for Redemption San Francisco, that it would be best for me to step down from this role. He was gracious in expressing that he knows I have made many efforts to adapt, but that going forward, there will be a better fit for The Redemption community.

First and foremost, Renee’ and I want you to know that we are okay :)
We are of course shocked, sad, and have some hurt over this decision. However, the Lord has been good to remind us of some key things in all of this that have served to bring us a great deal of comfort and relief as we look ahead.

One, He is faithful, and He is enough. Jesus alone is in the position in my life to give me my value, my identity, my worth, to take care of my family, to provide for us, and He has shown Himself to be faithful and trustworthy in much darker circumstances in our lives than this. We truly believe this. Therefore, it is not ultimately the burden of a man or a church to provide for us. We have Jesus, and He is enough.

Two, I trust and submit myself to the authority of Jesus, which involves trusting and submitting to the authority that He has placed over me. At this moment, that is Justin Anderson and Abraham Bates.  And so we submit to them, and we do so willingly, and we do so with joy, even amidst the sadness. Justin and Abraham have been honoring in letting us push back on things, question things, express what we are feeling, and have received all of what we have said graciously. We are so appreciative that they have given us this opportunity, and it has eased the process for us. I choose grace and trust for Justin, and he has chosen the same for me.

Three, the gospel and the kingdom are the most important thing. Justin and I are brothers, and we want the same thing, the gospel to come to San Francisco.  In cases like this, the Lord is interested in multiplication and the preservation of unity in the church. I am confident that both Justin and I are committed to this. Renee’ and I want only the best for him, and for Redemption as a community. I believe that in God’s providence, the results of this will mean more fruit in His kingdom.

So, what it next for the Bergmens? We would invite you to pray with us in this. Here is where we are today. We do not want to leave San Francisco. We do not want to stop ministering to the many people that we have relationship with here. We do not sense a call anywhere else in the world. We do not have interest in uprooting our family and starting over somewhere else. Our prayer would be that we would find a way to stay here.

We are in conversation with 2 churches at the moment for positions in the city.
As always, we remain open to whatever the Lord may have for us.

I am working with an online social media marketing company called Transon Media. This is an amazing opportunity that has recently come up that allows me to work remotely. I am eager to see how the Lord may provide in this job. I am open to working a non-ministry job for a year or 2 in order to rest, pray for direction and call, continue to build up the church in the city with my gifts, fundraise, and look ahead toward a future plant. Renee’ and I have no interest in leaving full time church ministry and in no way sense that the Lord is asking us to do that, however are definitely open to becoming self sustaining financially in order that if and when we plant a church, that burden would not be solely on the church to support us. We have seen firsthand the stress of church planting, raising funds on top of that can be very difficult.

Thank you for reading such a long update. You all know that Renee’ and I are transparent people. We view you all as our family. We want you to be part of our lives and our story and know what is going on with us.

Please pray for us in the days ahead as we seek the Lord’s will and His calling on our family.

With love,

C.J., Renee’, Keane, August

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