This is hard!

It has been two years since I said hello and you all welcomed me so graciously. I have learned so much from everyone here and gained so many dear friends. I can’t even begin to Thank you all for welcoming me in and letting me stagger along at this pastor thing. You have been kind, patient, and above all caring for me and my journey.

Here is what I have learned from Good Shepherd:
You are incredibly Hospitable. You have not only welcomed me in with your open arms but I have seen you welcome others in and have heard numerous stories about how people came here because you welcomed them in when other churches didn’t. That is simply AMAZING! That is being the Body of Christ.

Everyone at Good Shepherd pulls together to make things work. Most of the time at the last minute, but it happens because you make it happen! Not just one person, or a select few but there are so many of you volunteering and making sure this church works. It is truly remarkable what you all do!
Lynn, or as we call her the “CS.” She is truly dedicated to what she does for Good Shepherd and she does it all with such pizzazz, or sass. It has been so fun to work with her and her great sense of humor. She has such a way of making sure things get done and puts smiles on people’s faces when she does it. That is talent! She cares deeply for everyone and makes sure everyone is taken care of. She is much more than a Church Secretary. Thank you- you made this so easy, and fun.

You have a grade A education team and place of learning. The committee, teachers and helpers make sure everything runs and kids feel welcomed. The mentors that accompany these young people are also truly amazing. They are by far some great mentors in the faith going above and beyond for the youth of this congregation.

Carole makes Faith formation look easy, but she is deliberate and passionate about nurturing faith in all members. She is by far the best I have worked with. She is someone I hope to lean on in the future, as she has so much knowledge and insight to share. We worked so well as a team. I have gained so much wisdom from her and I am blessed to have worked with her. She has her hand in so much ministry in this church- her dedication is mind-blowing. What I will miss most of all is our weekly meetings together with Pastor Krista and myself. It was a great support system and truly helped me in more ways than I can count.

The quilting ladies rock! I was able to hang out with them a couple times and it was a blast, even though my talents DO NOT LIE in sewing. If I can do this anyone can, and they accepted me they will accept you too. They produce such precious gifts for so many.

The music team makes everything come together in worship so beautifully. They are such gifted musicians and do such great ministry for all Good Shepherd. I need to be in Gloria’s children choir – they are super-duper! The team of cantors are a blessing to all. Jan brings such talent and years of teaching. From what I understand Jan and Don helped make Good Shepherd’s music program top notch. Karen breathes such energy and life into her piano playing and is such a joy herself. All have been so accommodating to me as I fumble through this. Thank You! Keep up the great music.

The council is so passionate about what they do, and the ministry of Good Shepherd. It has never been a chore to sit through a meeting, but always a learning experience to see how you guide this congregation through some pretty tough stuff with grace and ease. Thank you for your leadership.
The finance team: Tom & Dawn, work hard at making sure the bills get paid yet realize that it isn’t always about the money -it is about you and the ministry that happens. It is all done with such love and faith that helps to make this church a church and not a business. This attitude toward our budgets is not only unique but a great blessing. You have taught me much, and helped to make budgets understandable (I don’t play well with #’s).
The building committee never slacks off. I know the building itself needs much repair, but those who take pride in this building have worked tirelessly to make sure it is more than sufficient. Joe has put in countless hours caring deeply for the maintenance of this place. You can’t ask for better helpers in this kingdom. One must not forget those who keep this place looking so snazzy! And the flowers- by far the best I have ever seen!

The congregational care team prays and cares so much for each and everyone of you, and beyond. The list they have of people they pray for is long and they care deeply for each and every person on that list. They are your prayer warriors. They are good at it too. Thanks for caring so deeply!
My internship committee has been so accommodating and willing to give feedback to help me grow. Their loving guidance has helped me become a better person and pastor-to-be. They also worked so hard to make sure all the paper work for Luther Seminary was done on time. Thank you for all you did.

Pastor Krista has been a mentor, friend, teacher and best of all companion on this journey of mine. I will never forget her kindness and leadership. I can only hope that I will find such a partner in ministry as I have in her. She is always ready to help guide me through what I need to learn, reflect on things I’ve done, and listens to my constant talking. I have never found a more self-less partner in ministry. She always goes the extra mile for me and for this congregation despite whatever is going on for her personally. She is truly giving her all to make sure this body of Christ is cared for and nurtured in faith. I will miss her partnership, and our talks together, and her willingness to reflect on everything because I insist. She has taught me so much through word and deed. Thank you doesn’t even come close to my appreciation for the many gifts you have bestowed on me.

I seriously cannot stop gushing about you all! My only complaint is this: you have set the bar high. I don’t want to leave! Every one of you has been such a gift to me. I am so blessed! Thank you and God Bless.

Your Humbled “V”