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The LaGrones recently sent this message to members of their church. As Abingdon Women readers who have come to know Jessica through her Bible study Namesake, we thought you'd like to hear of her new calling:

For the last eight-and-a-half years, my husband Jim and I have called The Woodlands United Methodist Church home. We came here as newlyweds, bought our first home here, and welcomed our children Drew and Kate to the family, all here in this wonderful place.

Through all of it, you have been with us as our family, loving and supporting us. I want to thank you for all the many ways you've shown us the face of Christ in this community. The Woodlands UMC is indeed a remarkable church, with amazing gifts to offer this community and to far reaching places around the world.

As we return to Asbury Theological Seminary where I graduated 12 years ago, you will be on our minds often. I will be serving as Dean of the Chapel, a role that includes pastoral care and worship for the seminary community. Asbury is currently raising up close to 1,500 persons in its student body to be pastors, missionaries, counselors, youth and children's ministers, and teachers for the next generation of the church. The seminary and the church have a wonderfully symbiotic relationship — with ministers being trained to graduate and serve the church, and the church raising up young people who will be the next generation of students in the seminary.

I hope to take what I've learned here about ministry, life in community, and how a church can be blessed to be a blessing, and share that with those who will become the next generation to build the church around the world. We will be back to visit often and look forward to hearing how this church grows in faith and in love with Jesus.

Thank you for everything!

The LaGrones
Jim, Jessica, Drew and Kate

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