As featured in the July 2022 Branch Monthly Newsletter
Greetings Christ Lutheran Church,
Expectations push us to achieve, believe, work hard and live into dreams and faith. Expectations can also cause discouragement, withdraw, giving up and feeling it does not really matter. Connecting life and faith along the way is a way to survive the journey with sanity, meaning and purpose.
I ask you to ponder just what are your expectations for a new pastor? Then multiply those individual expectations times the hundreds of people affiliated with the church. That would cover membership, visitors and community as individuals.
There are groups, ministries, executive council, council perhaps even the synod that also have expectations of a new pastor. Expectations probably even cut across generations, age, active or passive members and visitors. I am certain there is no unity of expectations among the various groups.
Expectations must be known, understood to their impact, embraced, and altered at times. Honesty, open mindedness and willingness seeking God’s will and ability to follow is faith in action daily. I can tell you my expectations of my second call, transition, and all it would entail have all been modified multiple times along the way. And that modification and adjustment is not over yet. It has all been more difficult than I expected. It has reminded me that being called to serve the church is about faith, sacrifice and service. I have journeyed through acceptance, dwelling now in gratitude and anticipation as I can.
I am authoring this from Freeland, in the midst of transition, uncertainty and mystery. I am not yet there, but I am not really here anymore. I feel as if I am in some sort of temporary mystery zone.
I did not anticipate the level of difficulty it would present to sell a home, and purchase another. We are fortunate to have found a buyer within days. After 6 trips to GR and 4 lost bids, we won a bid on a home in Wyoming. Both transactions awaiting final underwriting approvals, and closing dates.
At best, my family will be fragmented until mid-August. I will be making arrangements to live locally with extended family while working at CLC starting July 1.
In many ways, as I arrive, it is about expectations. It is important to identify what those may be for you as an individual, ministries, groups and leaders. It will become more important to have the willingness to adjust and be open to what is God doing in the midst of it all. Establishing relationships, being honest, open minded and willingness go a long way to establish the mutual care that is needed in this moment. I promise expectations will not be met; yours or mine. But as I am going through this process, I can also see how
God is shaping and changing me through the process and journey. By faith, I hope this will also be your growth and understanding as we journey together as church.
It takes time to realize spiritual growth comes when we learn expectations are some-times the destination, and other times a place holder for needed revision. That has been my great growth between calls. I am looking forward to joining you, and growing together, trusting God is leading.
In Christ – Pr. Rob Schmidt