Dear Saints of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,
It almost doesn’t seem possible. They say that time flies when you are having fun and we must be having a lot of fun! On July 22 I have the honor of celebrating the 10th anniversary of my ordination into the Office of the Holy Ministry. But it’s a double anniversary—the 10th anniversary of my installation as pastor of Lutheran Church of our Redeemer! It doesn’t seem possible that a decade of ministry has come and gone. I guess that means that I am getting old, or at least a little wiser, right?
In 2001, George W. Bush was the President of the United States. Terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The anthrax scare riveted the nation. A first-class stamp was 10 cents cheaper than it is today ($0.34). The average price of a gallon of gas was $1.50!! The Baltimore Ravens defeated the NY Giants in the Super Bowl. The Diamondbacks defeated the Yankees in the World Series.
We’ve been through a lot together in the past decade. We’ve said goodbye to many whom are now at peace with the Lord Jesus in heaven. We’ve cried together over the miscarriages my family suffered. You suffered with me through costochondritis and the most terrible year of 2007 when I suffered from panic attacks and was finally diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. We’ve celebrated baptisms and weddings. We rejoiced during the congregation’s 50th anniversary year. We’ve got an active outreach ministry to the Enfield Food Shelf going strong. As a historian, I like statistics. So here are a few for you about the last 10 years we have spent together as pastor and people. There have been 52 baptisms, 27 confirmations, 11 marriages, 21 funerals, and I have made 534 “official” pastoral visits. (And I only work Sunday mornings!!)
We have a lot of blessings from the Lord for which to give thanks. And each one of you is a blessing to me, Mica, Aaron, and Kierstin. We are so thankful to be a part of a Christian congregation and family like the one at LCOR. I humbly brag about you all to my colleagues in the District, celebrating the way you care for us, the way you reach out in love to one another, and your hearts of faith to do the work the Lord has called us today as His witnesses.
May our gracious God continue to bless our partnership in the Gospel and the years that we will have together in service to our King and Lord.