Dear Messiah family and friends,
I have been trying to figure out just how to express my thanks to all of you after last Sunday’s special congregational meeting. Messiah has tried very hard to be transparent with every step on this call. I believe that that dedication has paid off. The results of the two votes set a clear and resounding message to our Pastors, our staff, council, and to each member of our congregation. On our two motions, the congregation’s vote was unanimous to extend a call to Pastor Bridget Jones and approve the compensation package for the position. This sent a message, and we heard it like carillon bells ringing in church tower. We have declared loudly and clearly that we are moving forward and our choice to call Pastor Bridget Jones for our Pastor of Faith Formation is the right choice and her compensation package is fair and reasonable. This vote is an affirmation of all the hard work each of the three teams did to get us to this point. This is an exciting time, and our future looks quite bright to me!
The Faith Formation Task Force consisted of Anne Baunach, Sarah Caffoe, Kam Chamberlain, Wendy Doman, Christi Gillette, Joe Hamell, Ruthanne Hendrickson, Alex Littlefield, Kim Radabaugh and Sandi Wollum. This team created the report that guided Messiah Lutheran as we started this journey. Your work was instrumental in moving us forward, and Messiah Lutheran Church thanks you for your service.
The Transition Team consisted of Jonathan Baunach, Heather Caffoe, Nova Fergueson, Joe Hamell, and Anna McAlpin. This team developed the Ministry Site Profile outlining the pastoral position we wanted to fill. Messiah Lutheran Church thanks you for your service.
The Call Committee members were Anne Baunach, Dan Fergueson, Christi Gillette, Joe Hamell, Lauren Mendez, Ryan Monsen, and Sandi Wollum. This team took the recommendations from the Faith Formation Task force, and the Transition team and started the search for our new Pastor of Faith Formation. Messiah Lutheran Church thanks you for your service.
I hope that if you see any of the individuals listed above you thank them. Each of these team members volunteered to help move this church forward. We here at Messiah have been blessed by every member who served on these teams.
To the members of our congregation here at Messiah, thank you! You have demonstrated with your vote that you support this church and the mission of faith formation for our youth and families. This vote has established that you are standing firmly with us as we move forward. We must remember that this vote is a mandate for us as a congregation to hold up and support Pastor Bridget Jones. I ask that during this time of change in her life, you hold her up in your prayers as she starts her transition from Wisconsin. If any of you have moved cross country, you understand this is a daunting task. I know she hasn’t accepted this call yet, and that is all the more reason to pray.
I need to thank Pastor Chuck! Leading a church during the pandemic is challenging. Then adding to that the call for a new Pastor at the same time, well you get it, it wasn’t a cakewalk. Messiah Lutheran Church thanks you!To the church staff and volunteers over the last two years, you are all amazing! You have supported our church in ways that many will never know or understand. Messiah Lutheran Church thanks you!
I think we should also thank the Southwest WA ELCA Synod, our Bishop, the Rev. Richard E. Jaech, the Bishop’s Associate who assisted us on our search, the Rev. Rebecca Shjerven, and Joey Ager, the Director for Evangelical Mission, who attended our congregational meeting. Messiah Lutheran Church thanks you!My last one: thank you Pastor Bridget Jones for being willing to answer this call (we hope). The call process is difficult and if Pastor Bridget accepts this call, it will require her to leave one church family and start all over again with another, many of whom she has never met. The challenge is real and so are the rewards. Thank you! This is one letter, and I must have said thanks over a dozen times! That’s because there is so much to be thankful for.
Our trouble is that we attempt to understand God’s timing in his own terms when, in fact, it is inconceivable to the human mind. I love this verse from Proverbs as it helps me to remember to trust in God instead of my own understanding of the world.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
Charlie Radabaugh, Messiah Council President