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This was my prayer following the congregation meeting on August 27th:  Thank you God!  It was all I could find the words to say, because I am so very grateful that the people of Holy Cross have voted to call me as their pastor!  Alleluia!  Thanks be to God!

Holy Cross has been my church home for the past six years and during that time of preaching, teaching, and serving alongside you, I have come to truly love  this community.  And my family has made a home here, as well!  Ryan was confirmed here and Anna begins confirmation this fall!  Our entire family has felt supported, loved, and cared for in times of struggle and we all feel a deep connection to this community.   I have been an ordained pastor for 19 years and have served as pastor in 3 very different congregations (and as a vicar in two others prior to that) and I can say with certainty that no congregation I have served has felt more welcoming or more like home than Holy Cross.

In addition to feeling like home, I believe passionately in the ministry of Holy Cross - a congregation that truly seeks to live out God’s radically inclusive love.  Holy Cross is a community that welcomes with love every single person and believes strongly in their identity as children of God.  A community that not only accepts people in their uniqueness, but seeks to embrace and nurture them… to treat them as siblings, fellow children of the same God.  A community that feels called to share God’s love through service, to feed hungry people, and offer a helping hand wherever we can.  I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of the ministry of this place.

It has been such a gift to have had the opportunity to serve as your interim pastor for the past year and a half.  It has been a wonderful and unique opportunity to “try on” the role of lead pastor here to see if it was a good fit for me, for my family, and for the congregation.  It was a year and a half of learning and growing and of discovering time and time again that this congregation is exactly where God is calling me to be.

And now we can really dig in.  I am very excited for the work we have ahead as we dream and imagine together about where we are going as a congregation.  As we discern together, how to best live out our mission - God’s call on this community.  And I am so very excited to be part of this work with you.  Holy Cross is a special place where God’s love is known and shared.  I am grateful and blessed to be called as your new pastor, to be part of the work and ministry that we are called to do together.  In response to this call, I continue to pray, “Thank you, God!”

Alleluia!  Thanks be to God!