To all of our family at Immanuel,
Just shy of one year ago, my family began a new chapter in our lives with one simple word: yes. We packed all of our belongings and moved half-way across the country to a place and people we knew nothing about. There were multiple times that Adrienne and I looked at each other and said, “Are we really doing this?” We had no idea what God had in store for us in Colorado Springs.
As I reflect on the journey that God has led us on over the last twelve months, I am overwhelmed with joy. No longer do I look out in the pews and see strangers I know nothing about. I see people who have invited me into their lives, people who have shared with me their joys and burdens, people who have become family. Adrienne and I still have moments where we look at each other and ask, “Do we really get to live here?”
On the other side of all of this, you had no idea what God would have in store for you when you called me to be your pastor. What kind of pastor would I be? Will things work out? Not knowing the answers to these questions, you stepped out in faith and trusted in what the Lord would do. And I’m glad you did! Thank you for all of your support over the last year. I am excited for what God has in store in the years to come.
I have had one main objective for my first twelve months at Immanuel: watch and listen. I wanted to learn everything I could about our history, our traditions, our successes, and our failures. I wanted to hear about the things that are on your hearts and minds, your passions and concerns. And there is so much to appreciate about how God has shaped our church over the years and the seasons through which He has led us! I still have much to learn, but I look forward to beginning the process of discerning the future into which the Lord is calling us.
This month, Adrienne and I will be heading to Denver to participate in our first immersion for the Pastoral Leadership Institute. This will be the first of five gatherings over the next thirty months. We are excited to begin this journey, and we are thankful for the support of the congregation in this process. We will have much to share with you from our time in Denver!
Finally, as we approach our final voter’s meeting for 2017, I am excited to begin a new tradition at Immanuel. Every November, we discuss and vote on our ministry plan (a.k.a. our budget) for the upcoming year. We never know what will be in store for us in that year, but we do our best to plan for our anticipated needs and how to be faithful stewards of your contributions. For 2017, while we are technically below our budgeted income, we have found a way to minimize our expenses and now have a surplus in the checking account. As a way of giving thanks for and celebrating the blessings that God has provided through your generosity, I would like to begin a tradition of tithing our surplus to support the mission work of our Synod. There are some great opportunities to help launch missionaries abroad and in our own Rocky Mountain District. I look forward to discussing this with you at our next meeting on November 12 following the worship service.
There is much to be thankful for in all that God is doing in our church family, and I am excited for what He has in store for us in the year to come. The Lord be with you all!
The Lord be with you all!