Dear St Matthew’s Family,

Welcome to summer! I hope you are taking some time to relax and refresh during these hot summer days. Maybe taking the kind of time that can help re-center and renew. Most of us need that from time to time. I hope you can, and while you do, maybe consider these verses from Philippians as a good reminder that God is a god of peace and somehow always a step ahead of where we are emotionally and spiritually, and maybe even physically…

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:5b-7

2022 marks 50 years of ministry at St Matthew’s and plans are underway for a weekend celebration, October 1 & 2. That weekend we will be having a very special worship service on Sunday morning. We’ve invited an artist, Pastor Paul Oman, to be part of our worship service. During the service he will paint a biblical story of our choosing. This will be a large mural that we will have as a memory of the day and hopefully as inspiration for our future. So we need to come up with the Bible story for him to paint. We will start talking about possibilities on Sunday, June 26 after worship in the Nave. Come with ideas we can share, read and consider, and know that all of our initial ideas might take us to something altogether different. Come on Sunday to join in the discernment!

I want to say a word of thanks to the Transition Team, Chris Moessner, Emily Hess, Erik Knudson, Melody Stachour, Rob Mouw, and Denise Riley. We, as a congregation, asked them to help us begin to take a look at ourselves as a congregation, as we are and as we want to be in the future, and then put that all into a written form so that it can be shared with potential Pastor candidates. They have put in a lot of hours and a lot of thought and prayer for this to happen. They submitted the written form yesterday which marks the end of their work. So much appreciation for their efforts, especially for the after worship review session they held on Sunday, June 12! Take an opportunity to thank them for their work!

So now the work moves to the Call Committee: Dave Strand, Joyce Forbes, Eric Block, Kathy Brown, Brandt Nethercutt, and Sally Cotner. They will keep you informed as appropriate, and their work will take as long or as short as it need to. There’s a certain amount of confidentiality that is needed for the process, so know that even if you don’t feel like you are hearing much, the work is still happening. Our work as a congregation is to pray for them and for the candidates that they will meet, that there is a clear mutual sense of a call to St Matthew’s for the next pastor.

As for me, as your Interim Pastor…now is the time that you (as a congregation) and I begin to dance. You are looking for a new pastor and I now look for a new congregation. The timing might be close and the timing might not be so close. But we will follow the spirits leading in both cases. My current contract ends on August 8, and we will sign another six-month contract for the following months; however, this contract will include the ability to give a 30-day notice for both St Matthew’s and for me. So at any point past August 8, you know I’ll be here for at least a month until you hear differently. We will continue to do good work and be with each other until we determine the time to say goodbye.

Happy Summer to you all, and God’s peace be upon you!

Pastor Kirsten