It was a year ago today that I walked into the building at Trinity and began my ministry here as senior pastor. That whole day was kind of a blur. I remember getting to the office; I remember meeting with Tanyia and with John about logistics. I remember getting my computer set up and trying to record my voicemail message. (It only took me 3 tries to get it right)
I remember that after a couple of hours of going through this stuff, Tanyia said to me “Well, I’ll leave you alone for awhile…so you can get settled in.” She left, and I looked around my office. I sat at my desk and looked through a couple of the desk drawers. Then I said to myself, “Well, now what?”
With nothing to do at the moment, I started putting some books on shelves.
One year later, life is quite different. My to-do list is quite long (sometimes longer at the end of the day than it was at the beginning) and there are always people to talk to, projects to work on or sermons to write. It’s busy, and I like being busy!
Some observations after a year at Trinity:
- God is so clearly present here. I love being in a place where God is the subject of people’s sentences. In everyday conversation, I hear people talk about the impact of Jesus Christ on their lives, and a longing to grow in faith. So cool.
- People here, just like everywhere, struggle with schedules, a sense of feeling rushed and life-balance. Don’t we all? The world we live in is one with many demands, and the “margins” in our life…the time and space between our work and our activities, is being squeezed. It’s a challenge for all of us to figure out how our faith speaks into a life that can feel like a 5 gallon bucket trying to hold 10 gallons of water.
- People here are open to change. There is a sense of excitement about what God is going to do next, and people are open to new possibilities. There is growing energy.
- Your staff is amazing. There is a gifted group of people working at Trinity who are dedicated to our mission. It is a joy to be able to work alongside them.
- Trinity wants to be “out there.” We know that it’s not enough to just tend to ourselves. We live in a community filled with needs, and we believe Jesus calls us to meet those needs. In Owatonna and around the world, it’s not enough to watch, God wants us to participate in mission.
- Finally and most notably: Trinity is a congregation filled with amazing people. Every single day I am blown away by the kindness, generosity, grace and love of God’s people in this congregation. Thank you all, for being you. Thank you for being who God called you to be.
“I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.” – Ephesians 1:15-16
So one year later, I’m sitting in my office. I’m no longer asking “Well, now what?” Now the question I ask…multiple times a day is: “Well, what’s next?” Because there is so much. There are so many to serve…so many to care for…so many to teach…so much laughter and joy to experience…so many people to meet…
I’m even more excited about ministry here than I was a year ago. Thank you for being a part of a community that is so rooted in and is so willing to share God’s love.