Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Call Announcement

Yesterday was one of those days.  Put too much salt in my oatmeal.  Mistimed my morning run, and the storm hit right when I was ready to step out the door.  Kept forgetting my facemask.  Concentration was nonexistent.  Yes, one of those days, except I haven’t had a day like this in over 21 years, well, maybe ever.  I had to get up in front of the congregation and all the people I deeply love and tell them that I have accepted a call to be the pastor at another church: St. Paul’s in Beatrice, Nebraska. After the Service, we had lots of tears.  You could say we were a wreck, even.  It feels like getting punched in the gut, after being here long enough to baptize, confirm, and marry people that we’ve seen grow up through all the years.  We’ve been through a lot of joyous times and difficult times together, even on the same day, like the day I performed the wedding for my daughter, Clarissa and now son-in-law, Steven.  That was the same day the basement flooded at church!  

Being your pastor for all these years has been a deep and humbling honor.  I would gladly sacrifice myself in countless ways for all of you.  I haven’t sought praise or accolades or attention, only to serve with my heart and my strength and give it my all.  I’ve sought to lead by serving, and I pray that God has somehow blessed my own flaws and failings in such a way that the message of His love and mercy and peace have permeated my relationship with the phenomenal people of Christ Lutheran.

This is not a divine Call that I sought out in any way.  I’ve tried to stay hidden, or even when a congregation was interested in me, subtly discourage them.  Yet, God was preparing my heart to be open to His leading, only I just didn’t know it at the time.  Then, when the Call came, I was totally surprised, flabbergasted!  I can only imagine how all of you felt. What followed were some of the most agonizing days of my life. Emotions running to and fro.  My mind, jumping back and forth.  This was a decision that would take weeks, and I needed that time, every bit of it.  I can’t tell you how many times my heart melted when being so very blessed to enjoy some of the greatest moments together in the past several weeks and some of the most trying times, too.

In the end, the decision almost made itself.  God’s leading became clear, and it was up to me to finally accept God’s will and God’s leading.  When God clears a path, it’s a good idea to follow, always, even when it causes sadness and heartache.  At the same time, there really is nothing greater than serving God, not for one’s own gain, but to grow Jesus’ church on earth.

Right now, it looks like my last Sunday, preaching as your pastor, will be August 30th.  I write that with a deep sigh.  My start date down in Nebraska will be at the end of September, beginning of October.  There is a lot of work to do in the meantime.  A lot!  Karen and Joel will stay in Marshfield for several months, as Karen tends to Immanuel Lutheran School.  I’m so proud of her and love her so much for how solid she has been through all of this! The prospect of moving and beginning a new ministry is overwhelming and not just a little scary, but we are firmly trusting Jesus day by day and for each task.

We are thankful for all of you and thankful that you have two amazing servants of God to lead you. Pastor Andrew and Tammy are dearly loved by us and such amazing gifts of God to His church.  God has placed you in excellent hands indeed, some of the best!  The whole staff at CLC is such a blessing!  Thank you to all of you for making all these years such a true joy and an ever present reminder of God’s grace!

You are always in our hearts and in our prayers, and while I’ll be saying farewell, it’s not goodbye, for we will see each other again for sure, and thanks to modern life, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch.  May God bless you in His gracious care.

In Christ’s love,
Pastor Daryn, Karen, and family

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