One of my favorite stories in our Bible is in the Gospel of John. In chapter 3 Nicodemus, a church leader, comes to Jesus under the cover of night to ask all the questions he was afraid to ask in the daylight. He asks Jesus what is meant when Jesus speaks about being born of the Spirit and being born anew. Jesus tells Nicodemus in verses 5-8:
“Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
I have always resonated with Jesus’ teaching on the action of the Holy Spirit. It moves me, and others in ways that I cannot predict nor understand. Each time it does, it brings new life in ways that I cannot muster with my fragile human will. It has done so once more in my life. I have been asked to serve as the Assistant to the Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod and I have accepted the call.
Though my call will not be official with the synod until after their council meeting on June 19th, I wanted to share this with you now so that we have time to say goodbye before my last day as the Pastor of CGS on July 4th.
Please know, that I am leaving with a heavy heart. I have loved serving this congregation and you more than I ever knew I would.
In the next four weeks I hope you will come to the CGS campus so that we can worship together. I hope you will come to one of the events or activities we have planned (schedule on back) so that we can celebrate the past 7 years, and to say goodbye. If it is not safe for you to be at one of these events, I hope you will call, text, or email me so that we can arrange a time to get together. Though I might not be able to do this with everyone in the time we have, I hope to be with as many of you as possible.
While I will no longer be around after July 4th, it is my hope that in a year we can run into one another again at synod events and in shared ministry. Until then, let’s make the most of the time we have together.
In gratitude, love, and the peace of Christ,
Christ the Good Shepherd
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