I’m about five months into this call and here are some things I’d like you to know.
We are living in an unreasonable time and so far I have been entirely grateful for how reasonable this congregation has been. In times like these, when politics have us frayed, when the pandemic pressures seem to be coming down hard again, when we are constantly adjusting and re-adjusting our expectations, when we have masks fogging up our glasses and people are in disagreement all over the place, I would expect a church to direct some of that frustration at their pastor or at each other. I have yet to experience this. I know that we don’t all agree, but so far I’ve been so grateful for the ways you have expressed yourselves to me and to each other in this really frustrating time. Thank you.
Another thought I have been carrying around - this church is chalk full of people who are a real pleasure to do ministry with. I came in on Sunday to find a sanctuary that was decked out in gorgeous paintings that reflect the VBS themes, done by Colleen Doering. Craft supplies are meticulously set out for each kid, Covid protocols well thought out, games and stories planned, snacks filling the kitchen, spaces decorated with care and fun. What a great team of people we have here! What’s more, when I attend our monthly zoom council meetings, I look at each person in their little square on the computer and not one of them isn’t pulling tremendous weight. Fletcher spent his summer doing so much for our building maintenance and upkeep, Darlene worked hard to implement raises for our preschool staff and to work on landscaping, Ellen has worked diligently on stewardship plans and behind the scenes on our hiring process for the new music minister, Steve as deacon and on the reopening team, Lyle Boelter on our tech stuff and putting together the most wonderful documents for the council, Brenda has been instrumental in so many areas regarding finances, Jon has launched coffee hour, hiking group and game night. This is not a complete list - they are all doing so much more! It’s such a pleasure to work with people who are this invested in their church.
Lastly, we’ve had a lot of deaths and memorial services lately. Please know that I really cherish doing that kind of ministry with you. Thank you for showing up to serve cookies, make coffee, serve lunch, serve as lectors and deacons, and set beautiful tables. Along with sharing my gratitude, I encourage you to go easy - we’ve lost some wonderful people and those losses are hard. Please reach out if you ever want to pray or talk. We do not carry our losses alone.
I love gathering with you on Sunday mornings, preaching to you, communing with you, and getting to know you over coffee in the fellowship hall or on walks along the cliffs.