As you can imagine it has been such a strange time to begin serving as your new associate pastor. After all, pastoring for me is about the people, about you, and your families, and about gathering around God’s promises together as we encounter Christ in word and meal and especially in one another.
It has been so weird to preach and lead worship in a mostly empty sanctuary, week in and week out, without you there to sing and pray and hear the gospel in the space where many of you have gathered to worship for decades upon decades.
That absence has made the moments when I have been able to “see” you all the more meaningful. At Zoom coffee hours, “getting to know Pastor Troy,” Cornerstones, Teen Talk, or at meetings on Zoom, we still get together to equip each other to live out our faith. I have even met some of you in person, at in-person communion services or when you happen to drop by the church building.
Each time I see you I am reminded of the simple and profound truth: you are the body of Christ. And you are Grace Lutheran Church. Each face, each voice, each name, a living sign of God’s presence still alive and well. You continue to serve God and your neighbors; you continue to faithfully follow Jesus and be led by the Spirit. You are living signs of God’s presence even when we are apart.
Each day you rise to be the body of Christ in the world, and each day you are a sign of hope and a living sign that God’s work continues, signs for me and for one another. Having witnessed this in the last few months of 2020 I am filled with holy anticipation for all that God will do through us in 2021. After all, together, as the people of God, we are living signs that God has a future for us. I cannot wait to be a part of it.
In anticipation and hope for the new year,