"If you are not allowed to laugh in heaven, then I don't want go there"
In February, it was the 3rd anniversary of me being called as the Lead Pastor of St. Paul’s. When I was first called to this position, we entered a time of figuring out what type of pastoral assistance was needed. After a few months, I was approached by a trusted colleague to talk about what was going on here, and see if he could offer his assistance. I went into the meeting thinking, “I could really use some help with visitation.” And without having said that, it is what Pastor Gerry Rickel was offering. From there, I presented the idea to the Council and we entered into a contract with Pastor Gerry for him to focus on Pastoral Care and Visitation as well as helping with the Social Outreach Network.
Over the last two years he has offered great help! He has connected with many, but most especially with our homebound members! He has been an active part of Senior Fellowship! He has been a wonderful colleague, and has also helped me with brainstorming! I am very thankful for his work in this congregation!
As you have heard by now, Pastor Gerry has been asked by the Bishop to serve as an Interim Pastor in another congregation. This is a time of great turnover in congregations throughout the synod. There are almost 40 congregations who are transitioning between pastors for various reasons. With Pastor Gerry’s years of experience, he is perfect for filling one of these positions. This means that Pastor Gerry will not only be leaving St. Paul’s, but he will also be leaving the Community of St. Dysmas.
This was a new type of arrangement for us, to have a pastor serve here and elsewhere. I believe our congregation embraced this arrangement and it has worked well! And, as a congregation, we have learned more about St. Dysmas and the work being done there!
Pastor Gerry will officially be with us through the end of May. His last Sunday with us is May 6. That is the day of our Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting, so please plan to be with us not only for the meeting but to take the time to thank Pastor Gerry for the time he has spent with us! This is also a time to wish him well as he prepares to begin serving as an interim pastor!
Personally, I am very thankful for the time Pastor Gerry has been here with us! He has been a very important part of the ministry in this place! I know he will be missed, especially by our homebound members.
Please join me in thanking him for his service here and wishing him well on this new adventure!