Pastor’s Corner (3/17/2022)

 In Pastor's Corner

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.                                          

–Romans 12:13

I want to begin by thanking everyone for sharing in my celebration of 35 years in the ordained ministry. One thing I really cherish about this congregation is your willingness to live out the Apostle Paul’s invitation in the above passage from Romans. I think it really deepens our lives when we can rejoice and weep with one another. As you might imagine, celebrating 35 years of ordained ministry has left me somewhat reflective. I never imagined that I would reach this landmark, so many pastors never do.

My ministry has taken me to some incredible places and I have been privileged to serve God and God’s people in so many ways. Ministry has literally taken me all over the country and around the world. Although I served as a hospital chaplain for almost two years before my ordination, I was ordained to that ministry which also included training others for chaplaincy. I was ordained in Jacksonville, Florida. Ironically, this was the same city in which my parents had been married. Before their divorce they were married 23 years and I hoped my service to God would last at least that long. You can imagine my surprise when it far exceeded that time frame!

As many of you know, I have served as a hospital chaplain in psychiatric and general hospitals as well as a chaplain educator, as a university campus pastor twice, as a Mission Coworker to the Czech Republic, and as a parish pastor. FCC is the third congregation I have served full-time. I feel very blessed to be your pastor at this time in my career. Although I suspect most pastors never really retire, I have not made it a secret that I hope to retire from service here in the next four or five years.

One thing that really stands out to me about ministry here is the loving way in which I have been treated. While we have our challenges, the love and concern of people here is quite remarkable. Although life in a pandemic has been challenging on so many levels, I have noticed that people here have really stepped up to show love and compassion for one another: whether it’s through the ministry of the Elders, the service of the Deacons, the faithfulness of the various Teams and the Board, or the constancy of the rest of the staff. I am so grateful for the way love and compassion are lived out here at FCC and I know I am not the only one.

Once again, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life and ministry here at FCC. I am so grateful for the show of affection this past Sunday with the cake, the beautiful flowers, and the cards. Thanks you for sharing in this time of rejoicing with me.


With a truly grateful heart,

Pastor Karen

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