Dear Friends in Christ,
Blessings and peace to you and yours. I hope you are well and ready for a great summer. As I write this we are on the threshold of our Old-Fashioned Picnic – one of many great parts of summer at St. Peter’s. There is also Vacation Bible School and softball. In worship we will have contemporary services, blended worship, baptisms, new member welcome services, special music and more. Don’t forget your church in the midst of your summer. God takes no vacation from us; let’s not take a vacation from God.
As I write this we are also on the threshold of our last summer together. Odd phrase, I suppose, since this is only the second one we shall have had; but, my short journey with you has been anything but small to me. Two confirmation classes, almost countless worship services, births, baptisms, marriages, family triumphs and tragedies, funerals, and all the other special events and meetings that filled our brief but full time together – these have brought us together and given us a connection that I hope will transcend September 1, 2018, when my time as your interim pastor will end. Yet, in our 18 months together I have experienced the warmest and most generous welcome I’ve ever known from a congregation. I have been pastor of two small congregations and a medium-sized one, associate pastor of a large one, supply pastor in at least fifty, parish consultant for two . . . and then came “interim pastor” at St. Peter’s. What an amazing place this last one has been! I will do my best over the summer to share with you the many ways in which that last sentence is true. They are far too many for this little letter. Suffice it to say, you have openly blessed my family and welcomed me more in 18 months than I have ever experienced in any parish I served before now. And, most important of all for me, you have come along with your affections and generosity at a time when my health was at an all-time low. (In fact, my health, much more than the distance I live from St. Peter’s, is the primary reason I must move on at this time.) When the love of God was most clearly needed in my life, that love came to me through St. Peter’s. I will never be able to return to you the depth of love you have given to me. But I pray that your faith has in some way been renewed through my ministry among you. St. Peter’s is a wonderful place for ministry and you have a wonderful future ahead with your new pastor. Thank you for all you have shared with me.
In the meantime, I hope you will continue to welcome the ministry of The Rev. Kenneth Melber Jr., whose pastoral care has brought him deeply into the life of St. Peter’s in the short span of just a few months. Pastor Melber will be picking up some additional responsibilities to pastoral care after I am gone. So, you will be seeing more of him. I pray he will be even half as blessed here as I have been!
So, let us be on with it! The work of being God’s people in this place. I look forward to our summer together. May God bless us all in the weeks and opportunities before us.
In Christian Love,
NEWS FROM THE CHURCH BOARD
The Board is pleased to share that the Constitution and By-Laws have been approved by the congregation during the April 22, 2018 meeting. We would like to thank all members for their support and participation in the meetings.
The Plan of Merger has been completed and will be submitted to the State for approval. Additionally, the Constitution and By-Laws are being reviewed by the Synod and Conference for their approval. This process may take a few months and we will continue to provide updates regarding the status.
While we are awaiting final approval, the Search Committee will be meeting to finalize the Church Profile and begin the search for a pastor.
We pray that the congregation will trust our leadership, and trust that God is working through us. We ask for the congregation’s strength and support to help guide us through this time of transition.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and for the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
We are now moving forward with the search committee meetings with the introduction to become a Federated church. This is very exciting to us to look into this new chapter, we all have spoken about being one as a church opposed to just Lutheran or U.C.C. This gives us the ability to accomplish that, as one of the search committee’s members spoke “Now we would truly be a Union Church”
- With that being said our identity (as a church) will change through this process, which will help the search committee to determine the direction we will move forth in the future.
- The Shared Ministry we adopted has paved the way for this next step for all of us.
- We as a search committee have had numerous discussions about us voting as one, this would alleviate that.
- Please reach out to Board Members as well as Search Committee Members with your questions and we will do our best to find you answers.