The past two months I have taken a break. After a wonderful, challenging five years of ministry at Resurrection Lutheran, I felt the call for rest and renewal. I ran and prayed. I finished phase one of intentional interim ministry training. I slept and watched movies. With my wife, I joined a local Lutheran congregation, Prince of Peace in Roseville. I even joined their choir for last Sunday’s Lesson and Carols. It has been two months of spiritual and emotional refreshment.
Now I begin the next stage of my pastoral ministry.
On January 1st, I start my journey with Trinity Lutheran Church in Lindstrom as their Interim Senior Pastor. I have met with their council’s executive team and their staff and felt their energy, hope and joy. Their previous Senior Pastor, The Rev.Lauren Wrightsman, served them well for more than seven years, recently leading them through a strategic vision process. The Vision 2020 will be a key piece in their describing their present ministry setting and in discerning what kind of pastor can best lead them forward.
I am so ever grateful for this opportunity to serve Trinity as their interim senior pastor. As their pastor, I will preach and teach, visit and pray. As the interim, I will also serve as a kind of outside consultant, asking questions and providing guidance as their leaders, staff and members begin the process of calling a new senior pastor. The process could take anywhere from 9 months to over a year; the challenge is to listen carefully to the Holy Spirit’s direction.
My first Sunday will be January 3rd. The preaching text for that Sunday is Matthew 2:1-12, the visit of the magi to baby Jesus, the first Gentiles to worship the Christ. Their visit in Bethlehem was a short one, but yet vital in God’s mission to bring salvation to the entire world, Jews and Gentiles. My time at Trinity will also be short and yet I trust that God will use our time together to aid Trinity’s mission:
CALLED by God to
WITNESS in the name of Jesus Christ;
MOVED by the power of the Holy Spirit to
REACH OUT to a community in need.