Five years ago...
"I thank God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you..." - Phil. 1:3-4
It's hard to believe that I began my ministry with you five years ago this month! Where does the time go? That's the first thought we often have when we simply think about the macro or big picture, right? I find that happens a lot, but when I take time to dive into the things that have happened between the beginning and the present, I find it easy to see exactly where the time has gone.
Lord of Life has gone through a fair amount of change in five years. Some of our amazing people have moved away, some have entered rest eternal, still others have come to Lord of Life and made it their church home. As Paul says to the church at Philippi in the text I cited above, I thank God for the faithful who occupy this place. If you are reading this article, know that I am thankful to God for you! In fact, I often sit on the edge of the bed before bedtime to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the people who call Lord of Life home.
Lord of Life has been a gift for me and my ministry, too. As a pastor with colleague/friends all over the world, literally, I am often give opportunities to speak your praises. I hear the struggles and the stories of conflict in congregations and I am saddened, but I am also given an opportunity to speak hope to my friends. I know first-hand what it looks like when a congregation and its people embrace the Spirit's leading and seek to be the church together. I know what it looks like to be in a congregation that is not afraid to boldly try new things and to wonder and pray together about how God's mission for us will be lived out next! You show up to feed the hungry, to serve and care for our community and our world (did you see what we did for ELCA Good Gifts?!?!) and you aren't afraid to serve each other and in worship.
These five years have not been without challenges, but we have faced them together and have responded not always as we wish but as we are able. Who knew five years ago that we would face down a global pandemic? We have embraced being one church with two campuses to serve many of you participating at home and along the way we've grown in our reach across the nation through live-streaming and faith formation online. We are still learning what it means to build or keep relationships going in a world of Zoom and YouTube.
I am thankful for wonderful leaders in this place who continue to answer the call to serve in worship, council, teams and committees, and to be thoughtful conversation and prayer partners as we navigate the road ahead. I hope that you will join me in giving thanks for everyone here as we remember each other in prayers. I look forward to the next five years with you.
In peace and hope, Pastor Paul
Blogging and believing. Some notes about a life of faith, answers to questions you ask, and musings about leadership in the church.