Yesterday, Trinity Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Owatonna, Minnesota, voted to call me to serve as their senior pastor. I have decided to accept the call and so I will be resigning my position as pastor at Lord of Life.
Trinity is a wonderful congregation, and this is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family. They recently completed a large building expansion, and are poised to do some exciting ministry and outreach into the community, and are looking for someone who can help them do that. While it wasn’t a position I was seeking out, when I was notified by their synod office that my name had been submitted for the position, it felt like an opportunity that I at least needed to explore.
As Lori, the boys and I have walked through this process, it has become even more apparent that the Holy Spirit is at work here, and my sense of call to Trinity is strong.
Leaving Lord of Life is going to be hard. When I came here in September of 1987, I assumed that I would be here for 3 or 4 years at the most, and then would move on to the seminary and a different ministry. But I fell in love with the people of this congregation, and with this community. This has been a great place for me to develop as a pastor, and for Lori and I to live and raise a family.
My colleagues on the children, youth and family ministry team, and the whole Lord of Life staff, are the best at what they do. Working with them has been a gift.
In conversation with Trinity Lutheran’s call committee, it became clear to me, in fact, that many of the best qualities of Lord of Life are things that they would like to develop themselves. When I begin my ministry there, I will be bringing with me all of the things that I learned from you.
I do not yet have a firm ending date here at Lord of Life, nor a start date in Owatonna. It will be over the summer. I hope to get that finalized in the next day or two. (But because Trinity had voted, the word is “out” and I wanted to let you know as soon as possible.) I know that Lord of Life’s leadership is working on an “interim” plan for the CYF world after I’m gone.
There will be opportunities in the next six weeks or so for us to say our good byes.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll send more information out as soon as I have it.
Thanks for your prayers, and your support!