Messiah News

Pastors' Blog: A sincere "Thank you!"

Dear Friends, 

I don't mind getting up in front of people to preach, or lead something, or to just yack - but a simple, sincere "Thank you!" is hard. However, from the bottom of my heart thank you for the privilege of serving and ministering with you during your interim journey. You rock!

Pr. Tom rocks and it has been so fun to partner with him. Thank you Tom! Messiah's staff rocks, and it has been a joy to be formed by them, informed by them, and to see how they care about what they do. Thank you Staff! And again, YOU rock - all of you who gather for worship, who sing, who give of your time and passions, who seek to feed the hungry, who teach kids, who volunteer with community organizations, who pray for and support each other day to day. It's been so great!!

As you move forward with Prs. Robyn and David, I know you will love and honor them the way you have me. I know you will shape and share with them the way you have me. I know you will respect their teaching and receive their pastoral love. I know you will let them care for you, as you have allowed Pr. Tom and me to do. Most of all though, I pray that you will open you  hearts to whatever God has in mind for Messiah Lutheran from this point on. I certainly don't know what that might be, but I know it will not be what you expect!  <g>  Be ready to be surprised, because God rocks, too!!

With the exception of our time together, I have been doing work other than parish ministry since 2007. I did not anticipate the gift of revisiting my primary calling before I retired. I don't know how to say "Thank you" for that opportunity. It has been wonderful! Now I am ready to enter what, for me, is the unexplored world of retirement. It is time. And yes, "What is good for the goose is good for the gander." as my grandfather used to say. I am also ready to be surprised with what lays ahead for Gretchen and me. Only time will tell.

It may be that our paths will cross again someday. For now it is right that I give you time and space to receive, honor and work with your new pastors. I also look forward to time and freedom to shape the next chapter of my life. This has been the deal from the get-go, but you will always have a special place in my heart - and I will always smile when I reflect on the "10 months" the bishop asked me to be with you. AND, next time we meet there will undoubtedly be more of me to love. Thank you for the cookies, cookies, cookies, and flowers, and cards, and quilt and prayer shawls and all you sent me on my way with!

Life is good and God is great. What more can we ask?


Dave Brauer-Rieke, interim pastor
Messiah Lutheran Church
Vancouver, WA

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