“I never cease to give thanks for you when I mention you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give you the spiritual powers of wisdom and vision, by which there comes the knowledge of Him. I pray that your inward eyes may be illumined , so that you may know the hope to which He calls you, what the wealth and glory of the share He offers you among His people in their heritage, and how vast are the resources of His power open to us who trust in Him.”
Ephesians 1: 16-19
This will be my last newsletter article as your Pastor. It has been difficult to write because, for me, parting words are always difficult. First of all, thank you all for a great four years here at Peace Lutheran. Each of you have enthusiastically welcomed me and Angie with open arms, support and love. Special thanks to your Office Secretary Barb, past President Karin, and to your Council for all their help and guidance these past years. I really felt called by the Spirit to be here and that has been affirmed by you. I know, together, we have built on the foundation of the ELMS ministry envisioned by the Reverends D’Anieri, Kessler, and Seibert.
I am pleased that you have decided to continue an ELMS relationship with St. Thomas Episcopal Church. I know this is a faithful and effective witness to the local community and the church at large. Each congregation comes to the table with a long reservoir of tradition and denominational history. You need not deny nor forget that, but do not let it divide you, instead, share them for the benefit of both. Personally, I have now come to know and love the traditions, theology, and practices of two denominations- the Lutheran Church and the Episcopal Church.
Continue to journey from the attitude of ELMS being a marriage of financial necessity. This will lead to a complacent attitude of satisfaction, survival and “just getting by”. Instead, see yourselves as sharing a calling to mission and ministry that is ripe with new opportunities. Be open to new ideas and practices, being flexible, sensitive and understanding. The ELMS community meal was new idea and now it has evolved into a community tradition. Continue to welcome new visitors and the young people back into your midst. You must continue to grow and you will, if you stay positive with possibilities and practice careful creativity. For the past few years our ELMS ministry has been tuned and test-driven. Time to go?
Keep praying, as Paul said in Ephesians. Keep praying expectantly that a new pastor/priest will be sent to you by the Spirit. Work closely with and listen to the wisdom of the Synodical Staff. They have done this before and have your best interest in mind.
Come by and say goodbye. Angie and I will be at your parsonage(217 Alice Street) for an Open House on Saturday, April 20 from 1:00- 5:00. My last Sunday will be Sunday, April 28 with worship at 9:00 am. My last day in the church office will Monday, April 29. We will be moving from the parsonage on Saturday, May 4th. Keep in touch. Our new address will be 520 S. Poplar St., Bucyrus, Ohio 44820. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.