Comings and Goings

Dear Friends,

Our lives are full of Comings and Goings, it seems. 

Children and grandchildren are born and bless us with their lives of energy, enthusiasm, joy, and interests. Those same children and grandchildren then grow up and leave home with that same energy, enthusiasm, and joy in order to pursue many of those same interests. Such Comings and Goings happen throughout our lives and at different stages of our lives. People come and people go. Jobs come and jobs go. Opportunities come and opportunities go.

Congregations are not immune from the Comings and Goings of life, either. Members, friends, and pastors come and go. This is often hard because of the change that accompanies such Comings and Goings.

So with that said, on behalf of our Staff Parish Relations Committee I am excited and saddened to share two specific Comings and Goings within our congregation.

First, a Coming. Our friend and member, Tom Ervasti, has offered to serve as our congregation’s Choir Director. If you know Tom, you’ll appreciate the gifts of joy, humor, enthusiasm and voice that he will bring to the position. Tom also has experience singing in and directing vocal groups. Our choir and our congregation will be blessed under his leadership. His position will begin February 1st. Welcome, Tom!

Second, a Going. Our dear friend and confidant to many, and secretary, Carol Schmidt, has officially announced her retirement after serving our church and God for the past twenty-five years. Carol began her ministry with us on July 26, 1995 and will complete it on July 31 of this year. It goes without saying that God has blessed our congregation with Carol – her kindness, her compassion, her listening ear, and her competency and skill of managing a church office. Many community members, church members, and pastors have been blessed by Carol’s presence throughout her years of service. I am grateful for my own, what will be two years of serving, with Carol in our church office. She has helped me learn the ropes of this congregation and the larger UMC system of governance and reporting. We should all be grateful for the amount of notice Carol has given us so that, not only will it allow us plenty of time to express our appreciation, but also will allow our elected leadership to plan accordingly in regard to filling the position. Carol’s full letter of resignation is included in this newsletter. Thank you, Carol!

While Comings and Goings can be both joyful and sad, it is important to remember how they are founded in Scripture. Specifically, in the first chapter of John’s gospel we hear the invitation to “Come and see/Come with me/Come and see” (John 1:39, 43, 46). In Luke’s gospel, at the conclusion of the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:37), we are commanded to “Go and do likewise. Go and do the same.” Also at the conclusion of Matthew’s gospel we are commanded by Jesus to “Go, therefore, and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). Comings and Goings. We are always being called and sent in and out of ministry on behalf of the gospel of Jesus. For us at First UMC Lindstrom, Tom and Carol are being Called and Sent as they Come and Go. Please join me in welcoming and thanking them both, as we remember and trust in this promise from Scripture: “The Lord will bless your coming and going out from this day forth and forevermore.” -Psalm 121:8

Grace and peace,
Pr. Dale