I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom be all glory to God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit!
In 1995, when I took up the call of this church to serve as your pastor, I arrived eager to begin my relationship with such an interesting and diverse congregation. The years since have been richly rewarding. Together we continue to bear loving witness to the good news of God's love for all the world, expressed by giving his Son for our salvation. Our Presbyterian heritage lists six great ends of the church:
- The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind;
- The shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God
- The maintenance of divine worship;
- The preservation of the truth;
- The promotion of social righteousness;
- The exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.
.....................................Book of Order, G-1.0200).
As we seek to carry out these great tasks we honor our calling as Christians and act as instruments of God 's grace to our neighbors. Through our support of such local missions as the Scott County Emergency Food Pantry and such wider missions as One Great Hour of Sharing, we reach out to a hurting world. In our own fellowship we gather to share our love for each other on such occasions as the solemn service of Ash Wednesday, the joyful reunions of Homecoming, and the many other opportunities for fellowship we enjoy each year.
But most of all, in the weekly rhythm of work and worship, when we come together on Sunday morning, we renew our commitment and refresh our spirits in praise, confession, thanksgiving, proclamation, and supplication.
It is a great privilege to be your pastor. As the Apostle Paul wrote to his friends in Philippi, "I thank my God for you every time I think of you; and every time I pray for you all, I pray with joy because of the way in which you have helped me in the work of the gospel from the very first day until now." (Phil. 1:3-5).
Thank you for allowing me to serve you in this church. May God's richest blessings continue to attend our work and worship here.