Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
As I begin/continue my long term continuing pastoral education, I am focusing on three interrelated areas: the Bible/biblical theology, theology/Christian worldview, and ecclesiology/church life. I will move between these three areas of study freely. All of them have a practical focus for upbuilding Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd as a Christian community. Here is how I envision the perichoretic quest today.
Posted by ELemonholm at 10:45 AM
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Well, I have finished my D.Min. in Biblical Preaching thesis – it is online at www.opensourcelectionary.com. As I was writing it, I realized that biblical preaching is a never ending challenge, a goal one never accomplishes once and for all. Biblical preaching is a lifelong vocation, living at the intersection of the local church, the world, and Scripture, moving from the congregation’s context to Scripture and back again in a continuous cycle.
Posted by ELemonholm at 8:18 PM
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Dear Friends of the Good Shepherd,
A heartfelt thank you for everyone who made the Installation Service and Dinner so special! I was overwhelmed by the powerful worship service and the hospitality shown to all our guests: some people were surprised by the wonderful meal after the Spirit-filled service. We welcomed Bishop Gary Wollersheim, as well as many pastors and guests, including some of our friends and family from out of town. An installation service is a community event for our church and our church family throughout the area, rather than an event focusing on the pastor; and yet I was deeply moved. The Lord willing, I look forward to Living and Sharing Jesus with you for a long time to come!
Posted by ELemonholm at 2:04 PM
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Yesterday, I mailed the defense draft of my thesis to Luther Seminary. It’s the beginning of the end of my Doctor of Ministry. In April, I defend the thesis, and in May, hopefully, I graduate. The D. Min. program was a theological lifeline during the last three years at Grace in Detroit Lakes, reconnecting me with the wider church and renewing my mind and heart. I am a better pastor because of it. What I realized from both the D. Min. experience and my collegial relationships in the Northwestern Minnesota Synod (especially the text study and the Synod Council) was the importance of learning and growing in community – the community of pastoral colleagues, as well as the community of the congregation.
Posted by ELemonholm at 4:02 PM
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Dear Good Shepherd Church Family,
Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, through the love of the Holy Spirit! I have been called to be the new pastor of Good Shepherd, and have accepted this call with great joy and excitement for the adventure of faith that we will share in the years ahead. Mindy, our children, and I thank God for the warm welcome we have received in this community of faith.
Here is part of my letter of acceptance of the call to Good Shepherd:
After prayerful consideration and discernment, it is with great joy that I accept the call as pastor to the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. I “hereby promise 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).
My family and I have been called by God to the next chapter of our life journey in your urban, diverse community, in which both Mindy’s gifts and my own will be utilized, and in which our children will have ample opportunities for growth. I am excited for the opportunity to serve as pastor of Good Shepherd. I look forward to walking with you as we live out God’s mission as brothers and sisters in Christ, reaching out to people in west Rockford and beyond with the love of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
As I begin my second week at Good Shepherd, I have already experienced so much hospitality in this church community and the community of Rockford, including the potluck my first Sunday, Bible study groups at church, the Rockford Partners for Excellence at West Middle School, local clergy groups, and more.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once summed up Christian faith in a world come of age as prayer and righteous action, action for others. Good Shepherd’s mission statement is another way of saying the same thing: Living and Sharing Jesus. It is my hope and prayer that we will together grow closer to Jesus Christ in prayer, worship, and reading Scripture, and share Jesus through serving others and building relationships with them.
God’s Work, Our Hands,
Pastor Eric Lemonholm
Posted by ELemonholm at 2:02 PM