Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ,
Getting ready to go on a road trip vacation can be a lot of work. There is the normal packing to do, last minute car and camper care, and putting things into a reasonable order so that you don't return to chaos (coming back is hard enough!). I am writing to you a little later this week because these and other tasks have vied for attention.
After worship today, we will be heading out of town (returning for worship on August 28) and I must say that I’m looking forward to this important time of renewal and refreshment – to be with my family and to be in God’s creation. Pastor Will is returning from his sabbatical this Tuesday but already has the emergency pastoral care phone should any crises emerge (651-354-1883) in the meantime. Please welcome Pastor Will as he returns renewed and refreshed for his work among us. We met last Thursday to exchange notes and it was good to see him once again. I look forward to hearing of his stories and insight that his sabbatical time has provided.
As I prepare to ‘vacate’, I would like to share with you a great joy. I can’t state it strongly enough how blessed I feel to be working with such a wonderful team at St. James. This congregation is served well by a group of people (both paid and unpaid) who carry out Christ’s mission in and through this place. This summer has been a busy time. The Mission Stewards (Doreen, Kelvin, Jill, and Holly) have been working extra hard over the summer, especially in their preparations for the upcoming program year that begins in September. Our Executive Mission Team (Dave, Jason, Len, Lee, and Sid) have been providing leadership in a couple of key areas. Our support staff (Gayle, Gail, Colleen, and Jeff) has provided the needed backup to operate in a smooth and efficient way. Our Council and Committee Leaders (it is becoming too many names to list) have been caring for long standing ministries and giving the critical guidance to new ministries. Music leaders (Kelvin, Brice, and a score of folks) and musicians (Jan, Bob, Jeff, Mark, Gwen, Tom) have provided inspiring music on Sunday and Wednesday throughout the summer…. Although I know that I could keep going with my list, a closing summary is probably in order… God’s church here is in good, committed hands. Together, many talents, perspectives, talents have been brought together by the Spirit for the purpose of praising God and serving others.
On my vacation I will be shutting down my internet access and not checking my email. I am making this choice so that I might focus my time on my family and on recharging my proverbial ‘batteries’. I hope that you will understand. I will be returning refreshed for worship on August 28 and will be checking my messages at that time. Should you have a pastoral emergency or need to speak to a pastor, please call Pastor Will. Should you have an immediate question related to an upcoming ministry please contact the Mission Stewards or Gayle (952-890-4534) in the office and they will be happy to help.
I look forward to coming back after this time away. There is much excitement that is building over the coming program year that will begin on Rally Day – September 11. Time for us to be thinking about how God calls each of us to share the Bread of Life…
See you in worship
The Rev. Walt Lichtenberger, S.T.M.
St. James Lutheran Church
3650 Williams Drive | Burnsville, MN 55337
Phone 952.890.4534 ext. 112
Pastoral Emergency Hotline 651.354.1883
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.stjameslc.org