What is change, coins as opposed to paper currency*, making or becoming different*? For St. Luke’s, it means to replace (something) with something else*. With the resignation of Reverend Morris, we, as a congregation, will hire a pastor who will lead us into the future. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.”** We are facing change at St. Luke’s, but our
Lord and Savior will never change.
How does change affect us? Change can evoke many different emotions, fear, anxiety, anger, or excitement, enthusiasm, anticipation. Many of us have been through quite a number of changes, both in our personal lives and as a member of St. Luke’s.
How we manage change can make or break us as a congregation. In Isaiah 41:13, we read, “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’ ”**
How can we know that we will remain a strong and faithful congregation? We ask God for guidance, knowing that he loves us and wants the best for us, and trust that he will provide us with what we need. Proverbs 3:5 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 16:3 tells us to “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”**
The Search and Call committee and elders are working together to move St. Luke’s through the next phase of our church’s life, providing pastoral leadership and care until a new pastor is hired. May we all keep the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 in our thoughts: “ ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ “**
Please keep St. Luke’s in your prayers.
Definitions from Oxford Languages
** Scriptures from the New American Standard version
It has never been easy for me to say good-bye to the congregations I have served. St. Luke’s is no exception. As many of you have heard, I have taken a new position at Zion (Blue Mountain) United Church of Christ, Strausstown, Pennsylvania. Strausstown is right off Interstate 78, 10 minutes south of Hamburg. I am not new to Zion, Sharon was their pastor from 2008 to 2013. It is a half-time position and my primary reason for taking this position is the commute from Womelsdorf to Trappe. The trip was starting to wear on me. Zion is only 13 miles from our home.
I hope you know how much I enjoyed serving you as your interim minister. You are good people and so appreciative of my ministry among you. I believe that you have a future and when you find a settled pastor you will blossom. I do not know who that person is but God does. Your search committee is hard at work finishing your profile. I believe once it is in circulation you will find interested candidates. I encourage you to take your time and find someone who has the capacity to love you as I have loved you.
You have a lot going for you. I know your leadership base has dwindled but the leaders serving the church are committed Christian eager to serve the Lord. You are also blessed with a healthy endowment which, if used faithfully, will sustain you for a very long time.
My last Sunday is May 28, Pentecost Sunday. What a perfect Sunday to bid you farewell. Both you and I will avail ourselves to the life giving breath of God as it blows across our spirits preparing us to do a new thing. I will always hold you in my prayers and I will remain a constant cheerleader as I pray for you daily. That will be my commitment to you.
Thank you for your kindness and love.