This past week I have been reflecting on our time together. It is hard to imagine that ten years have passed by since I first began serving here at St. Paul’s. Our Sunday morning worship was a gift for so many different reasons. I began the morning excited to hear Jillian preach. It is every Pastor’s hope to mentor a congregation member toward pastoral ministry. Little did I know that was only part of the plan for the the day.
The handmade stole was one of the most thoughtful gifts I have every received. It is beautiful how you stitched together pieces of cloth from your life, into a pastoral stole. Whenever I wear it, I will be reminded of you and your stories. As a minister it is difficult to know your impact on a person’s faith. It was enlightening to read your notes and to see glimpses of how I have been part of your life. I still am not sure how you managed to transition the education wing from Sunday School to Fellowship Time, on a non-communion Sunday without me noticing, but I am thankful that you did. It was a blessing to gather and share a meal with you.
In the Lutheran church you cannot become an ordained minister until a congregation call you to be their pastor. You gave that gift to me. Just as a congregation is shaped by its leader, a pastor is formed by the people God places them in the midst of. The pastor I have become and what we have done as a congregation has been shaped, in large part, by you. You generously offer your gifts and rally to a mission that is greater than yourself. Ten years ago I wasn’t sure what the Holy Spirit was up to when I accepted the call to travel from Berkeley, California to Waldo, Ohio, but I will forever be grateful that God called me here to St. Paul’s and that you welcomed me into this community of faith.
With a Thankful Heart, Pastor Sarah