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Looking forward to Thanksgiving, I am once again overcome with all that I have to be grateful for.  As I begin my new position as the called pastor here at Holy Cross I am filled with gratitude.  I am so very grateful to God for leading me to Holy Cross over 6 years ago and for nudging me forward to become interim pastor during our time of transition.  I am grateful to the congregation for voting to call me as your pastor moving into the future and for the opportunity to continue our ministry together.  And I am grateful to all of you for the joyous celebration on the day of my installation.

I have been busily writing thank you notes these past weeks, but I also want to thank everyone who worked to make this special day possible.  When you have a chance, please join me in giving a special THANK YOU to council president Julie Noteman, to the members of the call committee, and to the members of church council for all of their dedication, time, and hard work throughout the call process.  Without their efforts, we would not have had a reason to celebrate!  Thank you, also, to Becky Jones and all of the singers and musicians who took the time to practice and prepare outstanding and beautiful music that made our Sunday worship even more joyful and celebratory than usual (and that’s saying something!).  Thank you to David Magnuson and everyone who helped to decorate, set up, serve, clean up and help make the reception that day truly welcoming for everyone who came.  And thank you to everyone who brought food, to everyone who came to sing, to celebrate, and to share in fellowship.  This church family is a special community and I thank God that I am called to be a part of it.

God continues to be active doing new and exciting things at Holy Cross Lutheran Church.  We are blessed with a vibrant children’s ministry, outstanding music ministry, the opportunity to serve our neighbor through our food pantry, and the joy of bearing witness to the world of God’s unconditional love for all people as an RIC congregation.  We have a talented staff and a dedicated congregation of disciples who believe in sharing God’s love through joyful service.  We have so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to as we continue to serve God and neighbor.  Thank you for being part of God’s work in this place and thank you for calling me to work alongside you.