June 17, 2015

Dear Members of Grace,

On Sunday, seeking to be continually led by the Spirit in worship, service, mission, and ministry, the congregation of Grace Lutheran Church voted overwhelmingly to call Pastor David R. Lyle as Senior Pastor. Pastor Lyle warmly and enthusiastically accepted the call and is looking forward to starting at Grace in late August. Dave, his wife Erika, and their children, Greta (5), Anders (3), and Torsten (1) are planning to relocate to Oak Park from their home in South Carolina, where he is currently Pastor at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Pawleys Island.

I have greatly enjoyed getting to know Dave over the past few months since his initial interview with the Call Committee in March. He spent a day and a half visiting Grace in May and meeting with the Council, the Board of Elders, staff, and youth. Over the past weekend he led worship on Saturday evening, met many of you after the service, and met again with several members of the Council and Call Committee. Pastor Lyle's biography was distributed on Saturday and Sunday at church and copies will be available at the front desk.

An audio copy of Pastor Lyle’s sermon on Saturday evening is posted on our website. Here is a link to the conversation with Pastor Lyle that I led after the service, including questions that the congregation submitted. Many of you may be interested in listening to a few of Pastor Lyle’s sermons, which are posted on his blog.

About one year ago I wrote to you about this transition, and at that time I thought the call process might take two years or more. It is a blessing that the Spirit has led Pastor Lyle and Grace together within one year! I am excited by the call to Pastor Lyle and he is equally excited to be Pastor to our congregation. Together, being led by the Spirit, as stewards entrusted with the message of God's love and forgiveness, Grace Lutheran Church will continue to bring in, build up, and send out disciples for Jesus Christ.

The call process could not have been completed so well without your support, your conversations, your prayers, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let me again express great thanks to the other Call Committee members: Dick Martens (chair), Amy Claud, Andy Massmann, Ellie Anderson, Jill Baumgaertner, Marcus Johnson, Paulette Reddel, and Reggie Moore. It was an honor to serve on the Call Committee with them. Grace has been blessed that we might grow and be a blessing.

In Christ,
Jeff Wood