God is Doing a New Thing

Dear Friends,
It was a great first Sunday for my family and me as we were so warmly welcomed into this genuine community of faith.
Thank you for your grace and forgiveness as I tried to navigate my way through how you are used to worshiping and being community. My family and I ended the morning feeling overwhelmed by your love, grace, and acceptance.
Starting new in any ministry setting for a pastor and congregation can be awkward. There is a fine line to toe between honoring the way the congregation has done things, while at the same time, introducing my own style and flavor and allowing the pastor to implement that flavor.
As we continue worshiping, learning, and serving together, I think we will all soon feel very comfortable with one another. I feel that this congregation is a good fit for the personality and gifts that I have to bring.
On that note, some have asked what to call me 🙂 I answer, “Whatever you are most comfortable with.” I understand the piety of some that might prefer “Pastor Dale” or “Pastor Stiles”. Some simply like to call me “Pastor”. Others call me “Dale”. So, whatever you are comfortable with, I am comfortable with. Just don’t, as my grandpa used to say, call me “late for dinner” 🙂 
Over the course of the past nine months I have had a theme verse running through my head. It found in the Old Testament book of Isaiah (43:19). I made the image above and framed it to hang in our home. It is constant reminder that God is always making things new. My wife, Carrie, and I have held on to that assurance as we’ve prayed and God has led our family to you. 
I share this reminder with you also, so that together, we can all give thanks for and savor the way that God is moving and creating and renewing all that we are and will experience together at First United Methodist Church in Lindstrom. There is much to look forward to and I am excited to discover it all with you. 
This week, I pray for joy and safety as you and your families gather and celebrate this week that we celebrate our nation’s Independence. As you celebrate I also hope and pray you will pause to give thanks and praise to God for the freedom that we have all received in the waters of our baptisms. We too, are independent in our faith, to worship, to serve, to love, and to honor God in all that we say and do. This free will is a gift to us and allows us to choose freely and wholly to follow Jesus and his ways.
I look forward to updating this blog weekly as hopefully a way to communicate with you for the purpose of sharing information, encouraging, and inviting. Please know that I am always open and available to visit with over coffee or lunch, at the church in my office, in your homes, or at the coffee shop/restaurant of your choosing.
Again, hold on to the assurances found in Isaiah 43:19. What God is doing is “brand new”, “a new thing”, “bursting out”, “has already begun”. 
God is doing something new and great among us, and for that I am thankful.
A reminder: I will not be in worship with you this Sunday, July 8. My family and I leave for a mission trip to Orange, TX  to work with an organization called, Camp Noah. We will be ministering to young people and their families who continue to struggle with the traumatic effects experienced from Hurricane Harvey. I will back in worship with you on Sunday, July 15. I know you’ll warmly welcome Pr. Glenn Polzine again this Sunday as he leads worship and brings the Word.
See you in Church!
Pastor Dale