“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1Cor 1:3)!
As I reflect on my past three years with St. John’s, I found this image that speaks to so many of the things that I have experienced during my time here. I am extremely grateful to have been so blessed. I am grateful for the Holy Spirit’s choice to send me to do ministry with all of you. Grateful for the ways that you have all welcomed me into the St. John’s family. And grateful for all the ways that I have grown and learned how to be good pastor.
Although I feel joyful that I have almost finished with my studies and am eager to begin full time ministry, I am also saddened that my time on internship with all of you is drawing to close. My final step in the process toward ordained ministry is for the Synod Candidacy Committee to approve me for ordination of Word of Sacrament, which will occur on April 29th. After that with God’s grace, I will then begin the call process. While many of you have expressed your desire for me to stay at St. John’s, there is a process that both I as a candidate and you as a congregation must go through as we all seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discern how and where God is calling us. I will be relying on my favorite scripture passage during this time and encourage all of you to do the same, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5.
As we continue to rejoice in the risen Christ in this season of Easter, the wonder of what God has done for us and the joy we have for the living Christ abounds. We are reminded that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ, not even death. We are called to look carefully at the world, to see Jesus at work continuing to fight for justice, feed the hungry, heal the sick, comfort the grieving, and sharing love with all through God’s People. I pray that you continue in the work that God has set out for you in caring for one another and your neighbors.
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand. Amen!