Interim Pastor Dave Rasmussen’s Comments

Pastor Dave Rasmussen
Pastor Dave Rasmussen

The words “Pastor Dave” may sound like you have heard them before and that is possible        because for 30+ years I served as Pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Garden City and recently served as an interim  pastor at Jerusalem Lutheran at Ebenezer. There is also the possibility that “Pastor Dave” sounds familiar because Pastor Dave Hendrix served in     Effingham County at the Clyo Parish and has retired and lives in  Effingham County.

During the coming months, I hope to learn your names as we work together to carry on the ministry of Zion Lutheran and to do the difficult work of seeking what ministries God would have this congregation aim to accomplish. Let us all seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit through intentional prayer, respectful conversations, and thoughtful consideration of this congregation’s potential ministries that can utilize the abilities and resources of disciples within the congregation.

An interim pastor is like a called pastor in that an interim pastor   functions as a preacher, pastoral care giver, and organizational leader etc.,  but within a temporary time line. What is also different is that my wife, Frances and I have a home in Chatham County and I have a study in our home in Chatham County and that is where I will be spending  time preparing for Sunday worship and other tasks.  I am usually available through phone calls to the home number 232.6215 or (cell) 596.5466.

I look forward to working with you to accomplish Our Lord’s ministry as we begin this New Year of 2016.

 

Pastor Dave

 

(There will be a reception to welcome Pastor Dave following the January 3rd worship service. Please plan to attend and thank him for serving as Zion’s interim pastor.)

 

A Farewell Blessing from Pastor Barb…

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The dawn of a New Year is always a time of endings and beginnings, as one year ends, and we look forward to the new.  It is a time of introspection and anticipation, all mixed up    together.   That is what this New Year has been like for Bob and me – a time of introspection and anticipation, all mixed up together.

The decision to leave Zion was not made lightly.  Although there were financial concerns, that was not the only factor in my decision.  Pastors are always evaluating their ministry, always asking the Lord       for guidance as to whether they are in the place that God would have them be. Congregations, too, in order to be good stewards of the ministry they have been given, need to be about the work of self-evaluation.

Discernment is an ongoing process that both pastors and congregations must always be about, if we are to follow the Spirit’s leading and God’s will for our lives and work.  So, while I would have liked to have stayed at Zion until I retired, obviously, God had other plans, or it wouldn’t all have worked out as it did!  So, while Bob and I look forward to the new call that God has placed on our hearts, we are sad at the same time, as we will miss all of you.

Bishop Gordy has asked Pastor Dave Rasmussen to be the Interim Pastor at Zion, and I am glad to know he has accepted that call.  As he says in his comments to you, he has a long history of ministry in this area, and he is well prepared to lead you through the process of finding a new pastor. I am glad to leave Zion in such good hands.

In order that Zion may focus on its future with a new pastor, I will not be available for any pastoral care or ministries, such as weddings, baptisms, funerals, hospital/home visitations, or pastoral counseling. I will refer all such requests to the care of Zion’s Interim, Pastor Dave, and the next pastor called to serve, with thanks for thinking of me.

Saint Paul writes in his letter to the church at Philippi, “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3–6  That is my hope and prayer for you, too.

It has been an honor and a joy to serve God along side the people of Zion Lutheran Church.  Many fond memories go with me, and I pray only the best for you all.  May God bless you in the New Year!

Your Sister in Christ,   Pastor Barb <><

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes…

The Christmas decorations went up in the stores the day after Halloween, which always sets my teeth on edge. We hadn’t even gotten to Thanksgiving yet, let alone the Advent season! Yet, here I was, in line at Walmart, praying that the young woman who was wrapping her work station in shiny foil gift wrap wouldn’t fall off her ten foot ladder and spend the holidays in the hospital! “Christmas has become so commercialized!” I muttered to myself, which is nothing new. People have been muttering about the loss of meaning of the season for so many years their protest has almost lost it’s meaning! But, every year, it seems to get worse. I worry about the message we are sending our children – that they will never learn what really matters in this life, and it isn’t your “stuff”. “I know!” I said to myself. “I’ll make that my Children’s Sermon next week!” So, when Sunday rolled around, and I had twelve little faces looking up at me, I began. “What is the most important thing in your life – something you think you could never live without?” I asked. Then, I waited for their responses, expecting things like, “My bike! My toys! My video games!” To my surprise, I heard, “My Mom!” “My Brother!” “My Dad! He’s deployed, and I miss him a lot!” Every last one of those children told me the most important thing in their lives was a person! It wasn’t till after a little prodding from me that they came up with any of that other stuff – “Candy! Computers! Books!” It was a teaching moment, for sure. But not for them. For me! Here I was, prepared to teach them something that they already knew – that the most important things in life aren’t things at all – it’s people! How did they learn that? It couldn’t be from the culture around them, pushing them to “Buy, buy, buy!!!” It had to be what they were being taught in church and at home! So, kudos to all of you teachers and parents who are teaching our children what really matters. You have given them a gift that will last a life time! And, I thank them for teaching me that I don’t have to worry so much about their future. God has them in very good hands indeed!

Happy Advent, and a Blessed Christmas!

Pastor Barb <><

…and a little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6