Here is a letter from Eric regarding his departure from the band, with our upcoming shows in Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton and Cambridge being his last with us as a band. Our friendship has always been hugely important to us, so we’ll deeply miss having Eric with us and, yet, are really excited for him in his new season of mission in Hamilton, working more closely with Hughson St. We were a part of each other’s lives for many years before this band, and we’ll continue to be many years after The City Harmonic is but a distant memory.
Please remember to keep Eric (and the rest of us while you’re at it!) in your prayers!
Grace and Peace,
Elias, Aaron, Josh
The last six years have been a whirlwind. It feels like only a few months ago that we were debating whether or not to sign with our record label, quit our jobs, and start touring full-time. Well, the four of us all decided together to walk through a door that God seemed to be opening for us. Things took off quickly and we found ourselves along for the ride. Then, just as things were ramping up, I was diagnosed with Leukemia, and found myself in and out of hospitals for the better part of two years. By God’s hand, and incredible intervention (and a little help from my sister’s stem cells), I found myself in remission after six months of treatment and a Stem Cell Transplant. By God’s grace after two years I was able to join the band on tour again, and I have since seen God do truly amazing things in the simple telling of my story from the stage.
The last two years since being back in the band have been difficult health-wise, though, and eventually I had to deal with the fact that my body simply can’t handle the rigors of the touring life. Every time I would come home from a weeklong or a two-week stint on the road I would get sick with something new. And the side effects of the medications I’m on, coupled with the long-term effects of having had a transplant, began to prove too great to overcome. In many ways, my immune system is like that of a newborn, and it will be a long while until everything becomes more consistent and stable. So, unfortunately, all of this has led me to the realization that I need to resign from the band.
The truth is, I’ve struggled with the touring life for a while now and the health complications I’ve been experiencing since being in remission only serve to highlight the fact that I also feel called elsewhere. I truly believe that God has been shaping me and prodding me over the last couple of years to come back home, be with my wife, my family, and my friends, and to get more involved at my local church. It has not been an easy decision to make – I’ve been wrestling with it for the better part of two years – and as soon as I was finally able to make the decision, I was surprised to find myself in an extremely peaceful state.
I’m confident that God is leading me in this direction, but it’s still a very painful road to travel. Part of me is not ready to quit the band yet. Part of me doesn’t want to let go of the past several years and move on to the next phase of life. It’s hard to imagine life without being on the road with my brothers in the band, and it’s even harder to imagine life without being on the road singing songs and worshiping with you all. But at the end of the day, all any of us can do is trust that our Father is leading us in the right directions and trust that His will is right and good. I’m so grateful for the ways I have seen God use this band and I’m excited to see the ways He will continue to use this band.
To Josh, Aaron, and Eli, I’m so thankful to have been able to spend the last six years of my life with you all and to have been partners with you in following God’s crazy path for our lives. I doubt you’ll ever know how much I love you guys. To our management team, our label folks, people I met along the way, I’m so thankful for the way you supported and cared for us and for me as we went through such craziness! I doubt you’ll ever know just how grateful I am. To my wife, my family, and my friends, thank you for loving me and allowing me to live this crazy life for the last several years. I don’t think I would be alive today without your love. And I’m so, so grateful for all the people who have joined us along the way – for everyone who reached out to me and my family while I was sick, prayed for me, and came and talked to me after shows, and for everyone who sang along to every word as we praised our God together. The support I experienced from you all was more meaningful than you’ll ever know and more humbling than I thought possible.
I’m gonna miss being out on the road and singing with you all, but I trust that God will continue to use our little band for good things as He continues to lead each of us forward. I’m sad to have to quit, but I’m so excited about where God is leading.
One of my favorite memories over the years, has been ending each night singing this prayer over every crowd, and it is my prayer for you all now:
“Grace, peace, and love to you
Hope from above to you
Joyfully give all the glory to God as you
Live like you mean it, and sing like you’re living
Go in the power of His glorious might
All of you saints in this Kingdom of Light
Live like you meant it and sing like you’re living
So, it’s goodnight. Yeah, it’s Goodbye!”
Thanks for everything, guys!