At our Church Council meeting in June, I discussed with Council some changes in Pastor Steve’s role based on conversations we’d been having as he looked toward retirement. Pastor Steve has been a key member of our ministry team at Ascension for 15 years, and I hated to lose him as a resource to the Ascension community. So we decided to modify his call to part time.
You’ll read more details about this shift in Pastor Steve’s letter, below. But I just wanted to say how much I have appreciated working alongside of Pastor Steve and how important his ministry has been at Ascension. I’m so glad we’ll be able to continue to tap into his wisdom, compassion and caring.
Dear friends in Christ,
On June 15th, while my family and I were visiting my parents in Appleton, Wisconsin, Pastor Tim shared the news with our Church Council that beginning September 1st, my work will change to about half time.
Up front, I want to thank the following leaders for their amazing help in this process: Pastors Tim and Julie, Kaylee Searway, council leaders Carrie Leonard and Ed Klodt, and Mike Marvin.
With my 66th birthday in August, I was considering full retirement. With much prayer, an inordinate amount of thinking, and good brainstorming with Pastor Tim and council presidents, we now believe the Spirit is leading us to a “modified call,” to change my work to about half-time ministry after fifteen years of full-time work here. With other congregations that I’ve served, that’s 42 years of pastoring and preaching.
Beginning September 1st, the ministries that I will focus on are Senior Adult Ministries, pastoral care, prayer ministries, Global Ministries Team, and Community Concerns Team. I requested the opportunity to keep up my music with our ECC children and staff each Friday, and I’ll do that!
The ministries that I will no longer be continuing with are: preaching and most (but not all) worship leadership; Sunday adult education; Monday’s ministries of singing with our school, women’s ministries, and Stephen Ministry; and some meetings that I would not need to attend because of the changes in responsibilities.
I am very excited for the future, both for continuing to be one of your pastors, and also to have more time with my family, here and across the country.
With this new plan and “ministry description” there is more designated time for visiting you in your homes, or in hospital visits, too. I welcome your invitation to visit you, and share in faith, prayer, encouragement, and if you’d like, Holy Communion.
Thank you for your prayers as we make these changes. We are trusting God to guide all of our decisions, all of our ministries, so that all people might become devoted followers of Christ, as we invite, grow, and serve.
Love and blessings,