Dear St Matthew’s Family,

What a wonderful nearly two years we have had together! Our goal from the start was to organize ourselves to find a new pastor and then get ready to receive that new pastor, and with the congregational vote yesterday you have done just that. Congratulations on the work and the intentional journey leading you to extending a call to Pastor Stephen Bohannon.

With that decision comes the bittersweet reality that my work here is now complete. We’ve learned a lot from each other, and I know I can say for myself that I have grown in faith and clarity of call while being with you. I thank you for the privilege of walking with you in joy and sorrow. I thank you for the love and trust that I have felt extended to me as I worked to walk in love and trust with you.I feel proud of so many things we did together, all the way back to coming out of Covid, something which felt like we might never be able to accomplish. We’ve thrown ourselves at new events like Family Fun Nights with the Day School; we’ve tried new versions of familiar favorites; we’ve welcomed back more and more outside activities and concerts. We tackled foundational pieces, like a financial review and the hiring of a bookkeeping service, and cleaned out closets and forgotten spaces. We’ve gone through staffing changes, and started thinking about how else we might support our ministries. We celebrated 50 years of ministry, and we asked the question about what might be ahead for St. Matthew’s—how might we move out and beyond our foundation and continue to feed ourselves, each other, and the world, both with bread and the word. We’ve started Mission Possible! with an eye to keeping the physical plant and ministries —current and future — in conversation.

These are just some of the highlights. There is so much more to do; and that will be filled out in the next chapter of St. Matthew’s journey.

I will be here as your Interim Pastor until June 30. Sunday, June 25, will be my last Sunday with you all. My last Bible Study will be Thursday, June 22, at 10 am. I have future plans in the works but nothing quite ready to share. Thank you again for all you have been to me and with me in ministry and friendship. I hope over these last weeks to share thank-yous and goodbyes with as many of you as possible, so come to worship, stop by the church, or give me a call.

Grace and Peace and Love,
Pastor Kirsten