The first thing that a pastor needs to do is get to know the people of God who have gather in this place and this time. Usually, there are gatherings and times after worship to talk and listen and share. Names on a membership roll may give the concrete facts of a congregation’s membership, but there is no heart and soul found on a piece of paper or computer file. Even the faces of the faithful are well hidden by the masks of Covid or the missing members in the pews because the risk of the present time. How can I minister to a people I cannot see and are the few minutes that you may see me on the worship livestream enough to determine if my intentions for All Saints Lutheran are right and pure?
I believe that the first way to accomplish some of what is needed is availability. There are sometimes when I am committed. (Sunday worship, pre-school chapel on Monday and Tuesday mornings at 9:15 and the various ministries and meetings that are scheduled.) All other times, I am available to talk, listen and even visit (if we can keep safe protocols.) I will have office hours Monday through Thursday from 9 A.M. to Noon. I can be reached on my phone (740-794-1001) at any time. I probably will be taking Friday as my day off, but if that is the only time we can connect, we will do it.
My administrative tasks can be done by computer and paper, but to be your pastor demands more. Preparing you for the call process means that I need to know who you are, what your spiritual gifts are and what you need from your next called pastor. This cannot easily be done in our present environment, but with the help of God, anything is possible. If you can think of new ways to help me get to know you, please let me know.
May God in His grace and mercy be with us this year as we faithfully serve Him. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.