November 5, 2023
All Saints Sunday
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ and partners in ministry at Saint Peter Lutheran Church, congratulations and God’s blessings to you as you celebrate 50 years of ministry! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you and recall our ministry together from 1994 until 1999.
As I think back on our time together, I am grateful for so many things, especially your deep love and care for me and my family. When I started ministry with you in 1994, I was young, with only a couple years of experience as a pastor. You helped me grow in my gifts for ministry. When my twins were born, you were there to care for us in so many helpful and loving ways as we were a bit overwhelmed to have two babies to care for. You were family for us when our families were so far away.
I celebrate that your loving care was not only shared in abundance with me and my family, but it was the way you cared for each other within the congregation as well. You were so good at being warm and welcoming for people who were new to the church. The congregation grew because of the ways you made people feel accepted and a part of the ministry. We had a lot of fun together as we also cared for each other deeply.
Your ministry flowed out into the community as you partnered with other congregations to be the presence of Christ in caring for our neighbors through the Southport/Oak Island Interchurch Fellowship. In many ways Saint Peter Lutheran Church has been a leader in outreach ministry in the community that has cared for people in real and meaningful ways with the heart of Jesus. And for 50 years you have given the gift of liturgical, grace-filled worship to the community. All of this is worthy of a grand celebration!
After serving as your pastor for five years and celebrating 25 years of ministry with you, we moved from Saint Peter to live closer to my mother and father-in-law. I served as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Mount Holly, NC for seven years before joining the staff of Grace Lutheran Church in Hendersonville, NC where I served for 15 years as one of their pastors.
Currently I am the Chaplain at Trinity View, a retirement community of Lutheran Services Carolinas in Arden, NC. On Sundays I serve as the pastor of a very small congregation of faithful people at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Family in Highlands, NC.
My wife Catherine and I live in Hendersonville. Our son Evan is married and lives in the area. Our daughter Nadine is a graduate student at Western Kentucky University, studying to be a Physical Therapist.
It has been a joy to think back on our ministry together and the love shared with you, the dear saints of Saint Peter Lutheran Church. I give thanks for the opportunity to have served as one of your pastors.
God bless you as you celebrate 50 years of ministry and as you continue to grow in and share the love of our Lord Jesus.
Yours in Christ Jesus,