Full Circle Round: a Pastor’s Report
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, for as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful… whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him!” (Paul to his friends, Colossians 3:15 & 17.)
Deep breath. Eight years ago this month, I claimed Paul’s words (above) in my letter of greeting to the people of Faith Lutheran Church. The call had been extended, and God was clearly nudging this reluctant mover (I do not like leaving people I love, ever!) toward the Bitterroot Valley. I never imagined when we claimed these words for our Church Council in 2017 that this would be my last year with you. But here we are. God has nudged again, and Doug is so excited to move into a full-time position at Faith Lutheran Church (really!) in Shelton, WA.
It’s true. Last fall, as his employment here seemed to be closing down, Doug submitted his “mobility papers” (resumé) to church offices throughout the northwest. Almost immediately, he was on the phone with the folks in Shelton, interviewing, scheduling a visit, then recommended for call by just before Christmas. As I write, he is in Washington preparing to meet the congregation in anticipation of their Annual Meeting and vote to call him (God willing and the creek don’t rise) on January 21. He hopes to be working on staff there by mid-February with me to follow along by the end of April. It’s been too smooth and affirming to protest, so all of us are coming to terms with change. (At publication, all of this has transpired, and plans are firming up.)
Above all, I am thankful: Thankful for the amazing generosity Faith has offered again and again to people in every sort of hard spot, for the sweet hospitality and care you offer EVERY person who comes in the door for Scandinavian Dinners, Lent soup with our neighbors, Community Meals, and Chili Cookoffs (We eat well!), for our wonderful kids and the devoted teachers who serve them, for our lovely elders and the faithful visitors who care for them. We’ve helped cancer patients, served the poor in Nicaragua, built up a good youth ministry, worshiped well, spoken honestly in love, and grown closer to God and to each other. THANK YOU, Faith! Please recall and enjoy the good God has done through us in these eight years, “let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts…and be thankful!”
Love always in Christ, Pastor Brenda
P.S. I’ll be here at least through Easter, so read on for happenings!