We are also committed to continue to offer our members ways of connecting with worship and meetings online, especially for those who are more at risk due to age and/or pre-existing health conditions.  We want to remain connected as a community even if we all aren’t able to be together in person. 

I have been back at church more in the past week and was able to participate in the Food Distribution on Friday to pray with and thank the volunteers who have been keeping this essential ministry going for the last three months:  John, Colleen, Mike and Greta!  

There are also two new announcements that will make my life as a pastor feel more established at First Lutheran.  My office will be refurbished in the next two weeks, making my church home more settled.  We will also be finally finalizing my Letter of Call after weeks of attempts, with the help of the synod, so that this document can best establish mutual support and shared mission between council leadership and the pastor.  It will be great to end the anxiety of not having official paperwork behind this call, but I am glad we have been committed to getting it right.  It will be interesting to consider how we might do an Installation during these Covid-times, but I hope we can find a way to do that as well, even if it is delayed.

As our communities and congregation begin to find the rhythm of a new normal during this stage of reopening, we pray that we continue to be wise and safe, while we begin to reflect on the past months and think more about where God may be leading First!  As I get to know each of you more, I am also getting a greater sense of how First has been functioning and some of the roadblocks and possibilities in terms of how it could be organized and opened to others in new ways.  I invite your active participation in the discernment of our collective and individual calls to discipleship, remembering that it is a gift to learn and explore our mission together!

I leave you with the words of a prayer that is used at the Holden Village Retreat Center in Washington State, where I was a creative resident in 2011 and served as pastor in 2017. 


O Lord God, who has called us, thy servants, to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden and through joys and perils unknown; Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen.