Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings to you in the name of Jesus our Savior!
I know that this whole Call process is scary! You’re right, it is! You know what, If I am telling the truth, its scary for me too. Why? Because I don’t want anyone to automatically think I am leaving Christ Lutheran or even want to leave. You may ask, “why did you tell us?” Well the answer is that is proper protocol. I owe it to you. Unlike in the business world, it cannot be a secret. I do not want anyone to be upset or to think I do not love them. In fact, this whole call thing has helped me to realize even more how much I love you all. I cherish you! You have truly become my family and I mean that from the depths of my heart! I have already shed tears over this. Believe it or not, these calls are very stressful on a pastor and his wife. When we pastors get a call from another congregation it literally interrupts everything. The reason is complex, so I will try to keep it simple.
In our church body, we believe in the Divine Call. We believe that this call is issued by the work of the Holy Spirit, whether or not a pastor knows he is on a call list, whether or not an interview happens, AND whether or not it is accepted by the pastor. Truthfully, I’d rather take this call and chuck it out the window, instead of taking it seriously. We have so many awesome things happening here in our midst. I see it daily. But there is my responsibility to the confessions of our church that I promised at my ordination to uphold our doctrine. On top of that, I’d really rather not tick off the Holy Spirit by ignoring this process! So I will be spending time considering the call from Trinity in Centralia, Illinois and the call I have here to Christ in Fort Worth, Texas. I have a decision to make, guided through prayer by the Holy Spirit. It’s not because I do not love you, or want to go somewhere else, or because I am unhappy. It is truly because I believe in the doctrine of our church and the power of the Holy Spirit at work.
So, my promise to you is this, I am going to pray, and pray, and pray more about this! I am going to go and visit them, as I am requested to do. I am going to do a lot of soul-searching and meditation. But I ask you to do the same thing. I also ask you to please come and talk to me. I need to hear from you: how you think things are, what do you think our future together looks like? In reality, we need each other right now. I know I need you. I hope you need me too. In addition, I ask for you to pray for the people of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Once again, just because I have this Call does not mean I am leaving. What it does mean is that for the foreseeable future I am going to be in a lot of prayer, worry, concern, heartache, and thinking. But it truly is worth it in the end. Because I know, without any doubt, that the wonderful Holy Spirit who takes care of us all, will put me right where He wants me to be! I love you all so very, very much! God bless you!
In the shadow of the cross,