April 24, 2020
Dear St. Paul’s Members,
What a trying time this is! Both our beloved Principal and Pastor have accepted calls to serve elsewhere. The Covid-19 pandemic has kept us from coming together as a family to worship the Lord. It truly seems that bad news permeates almost every facet of our daily lives.
I think often of the Apostle Peter. How jostled and confused he often was as he followed Christ throughout his ministry — his less than stellar attempt to walk to Jesus on the water; his severe rebuke by Christ for challenging the Lord’s plans for Calvary; his lame misunderstanding of what it was that he saw on the Mount of Transfiguration; his painful denial of Christ on the eve of the Crucifixion. Peter was constantly stumbling about, letting his pride and his misguided energy get in the way of Christ’s mission and his own understanding.
How true his words ring to the readers of his first letter then, when with the confidence of experience he proclaims: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. …So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” 1 Peter 4: 12-13, 19.
It may seem as if we as a congregation are being tested beyond our understanding of our capacity to act, but God is with us and will watch over us as we choose new leaders for our school and church. I want to assure everyone in the congregation that our lay and school leaders are taking great pains to “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under [our] care, watching over [you] — not because [we] must, but because [we] are willing.” 1 Peter 5:2a
To this end, please know that we have taken steps to call Mr. Robert Buss of Menomonie, Wisconsin to be our school principal. Please keep him in your prayers as he deliberates his two calls. Also, please be on the lookout for communications about our upcoming call for a new Pastor. I have been in contact with our Circuit Pastor, James Proeber, and our District President, Mr. Jon Buchholz, and steps are being taken to start the call process. President Buchholz will be providing us a survey that will help us prayerfully consider our church, our mission, our ministry, and what type of leadership skills we want our new pastor to have. When this survey comes in the Council will work hard to get it before each member and collect your responses in a timely manner. Your attention to this survey will help build the call lists that we will use to select a new pastor.
More information will be coming soon. Stay safe and stay strong in the Lord. Please reach out to Pastor Meitner or me if there is anything you need.
Please click on this Google link- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfBsW7cn7ocy8AB2qkiH9fVcAXEpqwEpi7LeOZtUusRGbUG2g/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1 - to fill out a congregational needs survey prepared by Pastor Jon Buchholz, our CA-AZ District President. The survey is not long, but it will require you to consider prayerfully our current ministry and the skills and leadership traits that will help it reach its fullest potential.
This information will help Pastor Buchholz prepare for our (as yet unscheduled) pre-call meeting, where we will discuss as a congregation what it means to call a pastor and what our ministerial needs and goals are. After this pre-call meeting, Pastor Buchholz will have enough information to create our first pastoral call list.
God’s blessings as you think about how we can best serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ here in the San Fernando Valley.
Congregational President, St. Paul's First Lutheran