Dear members and friends of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church,
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything under heaven. We live in a life of constant transition whether it be life or death, beginning or end. As many of you are aware, our Council President announced to you last November that we would be starting a transition to new leadership in the office of the pastor. After much discernment, I have decided to retire from active ministry as a Synodically Authorized Minister. The policies established by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America provide for use of Synodically Authorized Ministers under circumstances that no longer apply in our situation. My service to Grace was never intended to be permanent or long term, and Grace is now in a position to support an ordained pastor to serve and guide you into the future.
Bishop Rinehart has graciously allowed me to stay on until such time that the Transition Team is able to formulate a plan of action for our leadership to follow. That plan is being submitted to the Synod Office at this time. In consultation with the leadership of our church, we feel it is best that my last day of service to you will be July 31, 2014. This date is subject to the final approval of the Bishop.
As we get closer to the end of July, we will have the opportunity to say farewell and the celebrate what we have accomplished in the last seven years. It has been absolutely amazing. You have been the best congregation any pastor or synodically authorized minister could be blessed with. You have been every bit God’s grace to me and the people we have cared for. I will be officially ending 25 years of ministry in the ELCA on a high note, giving thanks to God for you and His blessings all along the way.
For now, let us finish strong and trust that God’s plan for Grace will make us even better and stronger than we are right now. Let us work together in harmony and faith that all things are possible with God and that you will find a new shepherd to lead you onward with the love and care that Grace provides abundantly.
Keep the faith . . . God is not finished with you!!! Or me