I have enjoyed getting to know you in my role as pastoral support staff. The Quilters have offered coffee, food, fellowship and laughter at the beginning of my work week. The Men’s Breakfast has been a wonderful time to fellowship together and learn from the text study on Wednesday mornings. It has been great to be with the Wednesday night supper crew that included young and old, Confirmation students and music people. Teaching the Healing Class was very rewarding for both Renee and me. Coming into the homes of those who needed in-home visits has been enjoyable. Thank you for your hospitality. And, of course, it has been wonderful to worship with the many who gather as the Body of Christ, the Church, on Sunday morning. Thank you to the staff who care so deeply for this congregation. I have fellowshipped, worshipped and worked with a wonderful group of people who love the Lord and share His love.
St. James is moving forward with the Transition Team and the Call Committee. May God bless them in their work so that St. James can continue to be strengthened in worship, Bible Study, prayer and the Holy Sacraments. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has a plan for good for those who trust Him: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (NIV). May you keep moving forward in God’s plan and hope!
Farewell! I pray that you will fare well in your continued work as the Body of Christ – the Church and in your time of meeting with each other and God in worship, Bible studies and fellowship. Fare well in your transition period in calling a Senior pastor. Fare well in your openness to new ideas and seeing God active in your lives, and in welcoming others. I celebrate that we have “fared well” in our walk of faith these last five months. My prayer is that you may continue to “fare well” in the years to come.
For me as support staff, it is time to say “good bye”. In England during the middle ages, people parted with a blessing, “May God be with you”. That was shortened to “God by you”. Today it has become “good bye”. Every time we part from one another and say good bye, we are wishing God’s blessings upon one another. So I say to you, St. James Lutheran congregation, good bye – “May God be with you”!
I will end with your Vision Statement: Living out our mission, our vision is to be a vibrant Christian community gathered in God’s Name where all are welcomed, fed, and nurtured. We envision our entire St. James family enthusiastically united in spirit-filled prayer, worship, music, Bible study, and fellowship. We see our congregation devoted to Christ-like service in our community and the world.
May this be your guide for calling a pastor and being a Christian influence in the community.
Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of St. James. May you continue to grow by proclaiming Christ’s love to the world.
Pastor Joel and Renee Dahlen
St. James Blog
Periodic notes and updates from the staff of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mason City, Iowa