Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Last fall, a call committee was created and tasked with the search for a new Associate Pastor. As with all call processes, this one has been a winding road. And, as things have worked out, it has led exactly where the Holy Spirit intended. Along the way, Logan Kruck, our Director of Youth and Family Ministry, resigned. While Logan’s joyful spirit will be missed, his departure gives us the opportunity to look at how we are staffed for ministry.

It became clear fairly quickly that there was an opportunity in all of this. The leadership of Grace, working with the call committee, decided that we should be looking for two associate pastors to join the pastoral staff at Grace. And that is exactly what we have found: two faithful, gifted candidates to join us in ministry.

What will this look like? The Director of Youth and Family Ministry position will not be filled. Instead, one of the two associate pastors will have oversight of our Youth and Family Ministry. This pastor will work closely with Julie Modrich, our Children’s Ministry Coordinator, to broaden and deepen our ministry with young people. A strategic shift is being made to intentionally engage more adults in working with the youth. Thus, while this associate pastor will have oversight of Youth and Family Ministries and will maintain a close connection with our young people, this associate pastor will also share in general pastoral duties, including preaching, worship leadership, and pastoral visitation. The other associate pastor position will be the position we envisioned in the fall, with primary responsibilities for adult education and social/justice ministries, and will also share in general pastoral duties.

In configuring our staff this way, we are attempting to be more intentional about connecting Youth and Family Ministry to the wider work of the congregation, while also devoting more staff time and resources to providing pastoral care to our people. The two associate pastors will serve alongside me in the unity of the pastoral office. Each will preach one Sunday per month. I will preach the other two or three Sundays each month.

Please join us for a Vespers service at Grace on Saturday, August 13 at 7:00. A time to greet the candidates will follow worship. A meeting of the congregation will be held on Sunday, August 14, following the 11:00 service for the sole purpose of voting to call each candidate. Please plan to attend. Information about the candidates will be available at, or shortly before, that time.

Finally, I want to thank Kathy Lucht and the entire Call Committee for their faithful service to God’s ministry at Grace. I am also grateful to Logan Kruck for his exceptional ministry over the past four years and, perhaps most of all, to Pastor Kersten for her faithful witness during this time. I can’t imagine having had my first year at Grace without her!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Lyle