August 6, 2014
Dear People of Grace,
The church council has selected Pastor Robert Shaner as the interim senior pastor for Grace following Pastor Modahl’s retirement. The decision was unanimous and was reached after speaking with several candidates. Pastor Shaner will begin on Sunday, September 7. He will be at Grace three days during the week and on Sundays, and will be available to the congregation as emergencies arise. I have enjoyed getting to know Pastor Shaner, and I know that he will be an excellent interim senior pastor for Grace. He will work closely with Pastor Faulstich and the other members of our staff as we continue our ministry and mission to bring in, build up, and send out disciples for Jesus Christ.
Pastor Shaner recently served as interim pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Naperville and was previously senior pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in LaGrange for twelve years. He is highly recommended by Pastor Modahl, Vic Brandt, Bishop Wayne Miller of the Metropolitan Synod of the ELCA, and others. Pastor Shaner worshipped at Grace for several years and he and his wife Bonnie were married here.
Pastor Shaner’s years in ministry include service as a campus pastor, teacher, and counselor at the University of Illinois/Chicago, as President and CEO of Augustana Hospital, and as a senior executive in older adult ministry for Lutheran General and Advocate Health Care. Pastor Shaner speaks beautifully of ministry as servanthood and of Christ’s message of salvation resting on God’s redemptive love, bringing our relationships and the world together.
I am looking forward to Pastor Shaner’s time with us while we engage in the search to call a new senior pastor. With the consultation of the council, I have begun forming a call committee and I expect to announce the appointment of the call committee by early September, when it will begin its important work. Thank you for your support and your prayers as we begin this transition.
We will bid farewell to Pastor Modahl and Jackie on Sunday, August 31, beginning with a single church service at 10:00 am, followed by lunch, a program, and dessert. Invitations with further details were mailed last week. I hope you can attend.
Please join me in welcoming Pastor Shaner and Bonnie to Grace on September 7.
Yours in Christ,