Earlier this week, I sent a letter to the members of St. John Lutheran Church, announcing my new call as the Pastor of Spirit of Joy! Lutheran Church. Portions of that letter follow:
Dear family of St. John,
It is with a mix of joy and sadness that I write to share the news that I have accepted a call to serve as the Pastor Redeveloper of Spirit of Joy! Lutheran Church in The Woodlands.
Megan and I have been praying about this decision and the future of St. John. This call is an exciting opportunity for our family and the right choice for our life together. As we look at the paths ahead of us as a family, it is the right time and opportunity for us to relocate. As a congregation in redevelopment, Spirit of Joy! is a great fit for my particular gifts and strengths in ministry. My last Sunday as the Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church will be May 4th, 2014.
In 2006, you took a chance on an untested Pastor straight out of seminary. In the eight years that followed we shared our lives with one another, and Prairie Hill became my home. We shared in joy – celebrating baptisms and confirmations, marriages and new jobs. We shared in sorrows – celebrating the lives of the saints at funerals, talking through the difficulties of life.
We have accomplished much over the last eight years. Together we have grown the ministry of St. John and seen glimpses of the Kingdom here. You have taught me much about the Gospel, the love of God, and what it means to be a community of faith. I could not have asked for a better first call experience than what I had at St. John. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
While I am not your pastor any longer, I am certainly your friend. I will continue to pray for you individually and as a congregation – and I hope that you will pray for me and my family and the ministry at Spirit of Joy! Lutheran Church.
With my deepest gratitude and love,