To the amazing community of Nativity Lutheran Church,
It is with a mixture of emotions that I write to inform you that earlier this morning, Sunday, June 18, Bethel Lutheran Church in Northfield, Minnesota, voted to call me as their Associate Pastor. I will be accepting that call and as such will be leaving Nativity.
I say “a mixture of emotions” because, even though I am excited for this next call and life chapter for me and my family, I am grieving the impending loss of no longer being one of your pastors.
In recent months, Melissa and I have come to realize that we desire to go back to the slower pace of life that one can find in small town living. This move to Northfield will give us that opportunity while also keeping us close to our family connections. It will also offer the possibility for Melissa to pursue her dreams of working in a small liberal arts college, with two great ones in town.
I am excited for the ministries happening at Bethel and feel my skills in ministry equip me well for the responsibilities of my new call there. And I give so much credit to you, Nativity, for helping to nurture those skills in me over these past five and a half years together.
Please know that this decision is not a criticism of Nativity. I am not running from anything. On the contrary, my time with all of you (preaching and leading in worship, growing and running the Confirmation ministry, helping to lead us through the RIC process, and so much more) has been the most impactful and fulfilling experience of my career thus far as a pastor.
I cannot overstate how important Nativity has been and will continue to be to me, Melissa, and our family. This is where our Isla was baptized by Pastor Glenn. This is where our girls attended preschool. And this is where I struggled and grew as a pastor, with all of you, through the pandemic.
I have been forever changed for the better because of all of you and the ministry we have done together, and I will be forever grateful, especially as I transition into this new call.
Before that happens, know that I will be here and will still be your pastor through Sunday, July 16. Also, know that Pastor Glenn, Deacon Kyle, and Nativity Staff are already aware of my departure and plans have been started for this incoming transition. You have been, and will continue to be, led by capable and outstanding people.
After July 16, I will no longer be your pastor and therefore will no longer preside over baptisms, weddings, or funerals at Nativity. This is for the sake of respecting my new call as well as Pastor Glenn and the next fortunate pastor who will receive a call here.
I know that this new call at Bethel and move to Northfield is the right choice for me and my family, but I also know that leaving all of you is, and will be, very hard. My family and I will miss you all dearly, and we will be praying for you in the months and years ahead.
I would love the opportunity to connect with you in these coming weeks for a conversation. Please feel free to call or email, set up a time to meet, or catch me after worship. I look forward to connecting with you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Nativity Lutheran Church, for everything.
Peace & Blessings,