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From the Pastor

Pastor Kirk Anderson

After a very long and cold winter, I think we can safely assume that the snow and cold are behind us. Or at least the snow. The Community Garden is open, and gardeners are busy already. Our Northwest Intermountain Synod will elect the new bishop that will serve us for the next 6 years. And your pastor’s last Sunday is May 7. Somethings will change, some will stay the same.

Pastor Mike Grabenstein will be your Sunday Pulpit Supply preacher until the synod finds an interim pastor or a pastor to serve in a transitional capacity. Things will be different on Sunday mornings: sermons might be longer, the order of service may change, there may be new songs to sing. I know that change can be stressful but practice taking these small changes in stride. Bigger ones are on the way.

When you call a new pastor, he or she may be married or single, may have children or not, gay or straight, may or may not have a spouse that can be involved in the life of the congregation. I hope you respect boundaries and encourage your new pastor to take 2 days off a week and all their vacation time. Part of a pastor’s job is to be happy and healthy and that only happens when they take time off, care for their loved ones, exercise regularly and practice self-care. A stressed-out pastor does not do good ministry.

Change is stressful and it takes time to adjust to new things. But you, as a congregation and as individuals, have weathered much more difficult changes than what will come in the next several months. So, I am confident that you will make the next pastor feel as loved and appreciated as you have me. I know that you have much good ministry to do in this neighborhood and in the world. And that is what stays the same: God blesses us to be a blessing to others. The grace of God is the foundation of who we are and what we do. And that never changes.

God bless you all,

Pastor Bob Albing (ret.)

This month we get to celebrate Easter again! I am really looking forward to lilies, great music, and wonderful resurrection stories. And because winter was so long this year, I am really looking forward to spring, too! But first we have Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. Parts of these services can be difficult, and somewhat dark. But we must read these stories if the Easter story is going to make any sense. There is no resurrection without death.

This is mostly likely going to be the last newsletter article I write. The last 11 years have been some of the happiest and most fulfilling of my life and my ministry. Mary and I have loved living here and loved being a part of this congregation. This is where Mary became a Lutheran! Lutheran Church of the Master will always occupy a special place in our hearts. I give thanks to God for our years here and our years of ministry together.

There is a time of transition ahead for all of us. For LCM it means forming a call committee, filling out a Ministry Site Profile and other paperwork. It will mean meeting with the Assistant to the Bishop, Phil Misner. And eventually interviews. First, of course, there will be “fill -ins” on the Sundays after I leave. And the Bishop herself will be here in May.

I would also encourage you to contact me (email, phone, text, in person) if there is anything you need to say to me before I go. If I have offended you in any way, I would like a chance to apologize and put things right. If there is gratitude or disappointment or questions you have or need to express please do not hesitate. I really would like to end well. For my own sake but also for the sake of the next pastor.

Endings are difficult. They just are. But I look forward to a new beginning for LCM and for me and Mary. Easter is all about death and resurrection, and not just in the past, but in our Christian walk, here and now.

Please pray for me, as I am praying for all of you.

God’s peace,

Pr. Bob

At the end of this month Ash Wednesday will begin the season of Lent. Wednesday February 22, at noon we will gather with Community of the Holy Spirit, and put ashes on each other’s faces and remind each other about our origin and our destiny.

Then all the Wednesdays in March we will gather in Schmidt Hall and hear about the 5 Love Languages, and sing and pray and then eat. There will be a few discussion questions at each table for you to use to keep the conversation going before transitioning to a more social time. We will need soups and bread for the lunches.

If you would like to read ahead, I (and 2 other speakers) will be using Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages. Please keep in mind that the love languages are not just about romantic love. We all express love in one of these 5 ways and if we are aware, can express love in all 5 ways. These ways of expressing love are applicable not only to our mates, but also to our children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. Chapman believes that we all have a primary love language. And if others do not express love in that particular language, we do not feel loved.

I hope you can attend these noon lunches. They start and noon and the lunch will be served 15 minutes later. If you cannot stay for the discussion, you could easily get to where you need to go by 12:45 or 1:00. However, if you are in no rush, you are welcome to stay for the table discussions, and enjoy some social time afterwards. Call, text or email me with any questions.

God’s peace, Pastor Bob

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