Thursday, December 29, 2005

Chosen by Grace!

I just gutted a year's worth of sermons from this blog, so there isn't much left to it. From now on, I may post an occasional sermon, but I feel weird leaving them up for too long. A sermon is "local theology," crafted in the trenches of ministry in a congregation, for the congregation. This blog is just not a good permanent home for sermons.

All fall, things have been busy, much too busy for blogging.

First, we moved into our new church building. Check it out here. It was a tremendous task, and an awesome joy to celebrate.
Second, I was in the call process all fall, traveling and interviewing at various churches. It was really my first time in the interview process, since I was called as associate pastor to my internship church without a break in service. It has been a wonderful 6 1/2 years of ministry at United in Christ, but, with our move into the new building, and our senior pastor retiring, it is time for me to move on - and what a perfect time for me and my family to start anew in another church community.

After interviewing in other wonderful, faithful congregations in other communities, my wife and I were driving to Detroit Lakes for the interview and re-reading aloud the Congregational Mission Profile of Grace Lutheran Church. As we read together, we both had a feeling of peace about the upcoming interview – it seemed to be a perfect fit between myself and the congregation, as well as a church and community in which our family could take root and grow. That sense of being called to Grace – a gift of the Holy Spirit – grew during and after the interview. We felt welcomed into a warm church family.

After prayerful consideration and discernment, it is with great joy that I have accepted the call as pastor to Grace Lutheran Church. I have promised to fulfill this pastoral ministry in accord with the standards and policies for ordained ministers of the Evangelical Church in America,” and to be “diligent in the study of Holy Scripture, in use of the means of grace, in prayer, in faithful service, and in holy living” (quoted from the Letter of Call).
I look forward to helping the people of Grace live out our common mission, “Grace by grace, seeking to be God’s faithful people,” in the years ahead.

I hope have some time to blog in the near future, but perhaps not before we move in mid-January.

Grace, love, and peace.

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