Notes from our Interim Pastor Rob Nelson...

August 2018

Dear Co-workers in God's Work:

It has been a privilege to serve as your interim pastor these past

nineteen weeks. During this time, I have listened to your stories.

Some members have shared their heartfelt questions, concerns,

hopes, and dreams for “Grace Through Faith Ministries” parish.

Many of you have openly talked with great pride about your

church's history....its legacy of faithful ministry and mission. I

consider it "holy ground" to serve with you and to share the good

news together.

 

It is evident to me that Faith Lutheran-Evansville and Grace

Lutheran-Brandon, as “Grace Through Faith Ministries” parish is

about to embrace a whole new exciting chapter of ministry and

mission.

 

The bold questions for your consideration are: Are you ready?

Are you up to the challenges ahead? Are you willing to risk

change? Are you willing to embrace a Christ-centered vision for

your future together? From my vantage point, knowing what I

now know from my time with you during the pastoral transition

and with Pastor Sarah serving with you, I can faithfully say

yes...Amen!

 

With Pastor Sarah's able leadership and member commitment

you have awesome opportunity to witness to your faith and to tell

the story of how you live together in service to God's work. God

has entrusted his work to your hands...what a gift...what a

responsibility...what an opportunity! Thanks be to God.

My last Sunday as your interim pastor is August 19th. Thank you

for the opportunity to serve with you. I continue to hold you in my

prayers.

 

God's abundant blessings,

Pastor Rob

Interim


June 2018

Dear Co-workers in God's work:

 A book I enjoyed reading was 'Reclaiming the "L" Word...Renewing the Church from its Lutheran Core' by Kelly A. Fryer.  The author offers five guiding principles that her church decided to follow as they attempted to be faithful to their mutual ministry and sense of mission.  I invite you to reflect about them and to question whether in one form or another, they might fit Grace Through Faith Ministries parish, and why or why not?

+ Jesus is Lord

+  Everyone is welcome

+  Love changes people

+  Everybody has something to offer

+  The world needs what we have

 I firmly believe we are called and equipped to look into the mirror of ministry and mission and to observe how we as God's church are living out these guiding principles.  A good time for reflection and conversation is during a period of pastoral transition.   I solicit your prayerful thoughts and observations.

May we work together to discover who we are and who God is calling us to be, and willing to do whatever it takes to be faithful stewards of that call.

Let our common prayer this month be:  Lord, it is so easy to get confused about what really matters.  Forgive us when we get ourselves turned around and lose focus on the main things.  Help us to seek your direction.  Guide us in making things clear for us.  Be with us, so that we can be your faithful people in this time and place.  We know that the tasks before us can seem daunting and challenging.  Assist us to get ready to do your will.  In Jesus's name we pray.  Amen

Your partner in God's work, 

Pastor Rob Nelson, Interim


May 2018

 Co-workers in God's work: 

          As your interim Pastor I think it appropriate for us to reflect on Grace Lutheran Church and Faith Lutheran Church as you look at each church in Grace through Faith Ministries. 

Is Grace/Faith Lutheran: 

          +a house of hope?

          +a forgiving community?

          +a place of prayer?

          +a 'battery recharging' center for the soul?

          +a safe place midst the storms of life?

          +a gentle embrace in grief?

          +a setting for healing?

          +a partner in joy?

          +a 'mission control' center for God to guide your daily living?

          +a launching pad for dreams, vision and service?

          +a center of celebration?

          +a welcome place for children and youth?         

          We continually need to discern what our Lord wants for his church.  The church is not about us, it is about God.  We all have a part in the body of Christ, the church and we have special gifts to offer. 

          I look forward to the days ahead as we walk and work together in this time of pastoral transition.  Do not hesitate to contact me with your questions, ideas for ministry, your hopes and dreams and your concerns:

pastorrob.n@gmail.com.     Cell:  218-371-6853 

May Grace and Faith abound! 

Pastor Rob Nelson

Interim


Easter   2018

                    "Jesus came and stood among them and said,

                    Peace be with you."    John 20: 19

Dear Co-workers in God's Work:

          The risen Christ appears to his disciples on that first Easter evening.  Behind locked doors the disciples were filled with questions and fear.  It is no secret that we are living in anxious and fear-filled times.  The daily news pummels us with visions of terror and violence, child neglect and abuse, hunger and poverty, and natural disasters.  Also even within Grace Through Faith Ministries there are anxious feelings, unanswered questions, uncertainties and fears of what the future holds for Grace Lutheran Church and Faith Lutheran Church.  All these things are real but there is something more.....it is so easy to fixate on the things that are fearful and to forget that it is still God's world and his church.

          The risen Christ stands before each of us, just as he stood before his frightened disciples.  In the midst of our worries and fears, Jesus extends an ordinary greeting that becomes a most special gift:  Peace Be With You!

          The risen Christ offers not only the gift of peace, but also himself. He reveals the wounds of his crucifixion and then gives the surprising command, "peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I send you."  John 20:21.   Christ sends his followers, terrified as they are right back into the world that crucified their leader.  But they are not sent on their own:  "He breathed on them and said to them, 'receive the Holy Spirit.'"

  John 20: 22

          In the community of Christ's body...the Church (Grace Through Faith Ministries), we are sent to proclaim Christ as risen for the healing of the world.  Alleluia!  May your Easter and all your days be blessed with Christ's mercy, care and love.  May we live graciously with the Easter promise of the risen Christ's peace.

Christ is risen!  Alleluia!

Pastor Rob Nelson, Interim


MEET OUR INTERIM PASTOR

 March 2018

 Dear Co-workers in God's work:                                                                                 

            Beginning Palm Sunday, March 25th, I will begin serving “Grace through Faith Ministries” as your part-time interim pastor. My charge is to help prepare the congregations in calling a new pastor.  The key tasks for any congregation in transition are:

                                    +Coming to terms with its history

                                    +Reinforce the ministry of the laity

                                    +Discovering a new identity

                                    +Developing a vision for the future

                                    +Renewing and strengthening Synod relationships

                                    +Commitment to new directions in ministry/mission

            Appropriate goals for the interim transition are:

                                    *To maintain the viability of the churches

                                    *Deal with feelings of grief

                                    *Clarify ministry and mission

                                    *Address special needs of the churches

                                    *To increase the potential for a successful ministry

                                             by the next called pastor

            As your part-time interim pastor I will fulfill all pastoral duties;

leading worship and preaching, administering the sacraments, visit, teach, coordinate the work with all committees, and doing whatever else needs attention.  I want to be in touch with you as members of this faith community.  I want to listen and learn what is on your heart and mind, so we can effectively work together.  I seek to know your questions and concerns, as well as your hopes and dreams for “Grace through Faith Ministries.”

            One way you can assist me to better minister with you is to contact me when you have a pastoral care need.  My cell number is: 218-371-6853 and my email address is: pastorrob.n@gmail.com.  For whatever reason or whenever please stay in communication with me.

            In the weeks ahead I will share information about me and my family and my schedule among you.  I look forward to working with you in the months ahead.  Partnering together in "God's Work...Our Hands."

Lenten Blessings Abound!

Pastor Rob Nelson

Interim





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