Pastor’s Corner


Principal Search Update

We continue our search for our next principal at Cross.  This is a new chapter and a new season at Cross.  We eagerly anticipate how God will lead us to the next principal in the 137 years of provision for His ministry through Cross.

In the previous update we shared how the search committee had narrowed the list of candidates down to five.  After video interviews we narrowed the list down to three candidates to bring on-site for face-to-face interviews and to allow the candidates to consider how they might fit at Cross.  These on-site interviews are happening this week.

While the committee initially set up on-site interviews with three candidates, one of the three, Dr. Philip Frusti, removed his name from consideration.  Dr. Frusti is the Executive Director of Lead a Child where recent changes by his board of directors prompted him to decide he needed to remain there for the foreseeable future.

We remain enthusiastic for the two candidates coming on-site, Jessica Gade and Zach Weber.  Both of these candidates bring an energy and excitement for the mission and ministry of Cross.  God has directly impacted both of these candidates through the ministries at Cross, and both are eager to increase those blessings from God to all the families reached by this congregation.

God is amazing in His provision and timing.  The search committee is honored to be a part of this process and diligently seeks God’s leadership through it all.  Please join us in prayer as we seek God’s will and our obedience to His leadership.  I have been asked by multiple people if we are still open to nominations.  The short answer is, “Yes.”  We must always be open to God’s leadership at any moment from any direction.  At the same time, we are also pleased with the candidates we have in front of us now and any new direction would need to be very clear to all involved.

In Christ,

Erik Gauss

Pastor’s Corner


Cross LIVE!

This is yet another exciting weekend in the 137 years of Cross.  Every weekend is a weekend to celebrate all that God has done, is doing and will do.  Some weekends, however, have a bit extra to help us see how the little things keep adding up for God’s glory.

This weekend we are launching LIVE Stream services on Sunday morning.  People will be able to worship with us, as a congregation, LIVE from all across the world through the power of the Internet.  This is our first weekend, so we do anticipate some challenges, but we also anticipate God will do what He always does and redeem them for His will.

This opportunity has been made possible financially through a grant from the Expanding Ministries Fund of the Cross Lutheran Foundation.  We want to thank the Foundation and all who have donated to the Foundation throughout its history.  In addition to the financial support there is extensive volunteer support that has gotten this off the ground and ready to go.  We would like to thank Kevin, Ryan and Christy for all they are doing and have pledged to do to ensure this ministry accomplishes all that God desires.

The goal of LIVE Stream is not to attract visitors.  The goal is not to allow people to worship at home in their pajamas.  Video worship does not replace the relationship blessings and challenges that shape us in community.  The purpose of LIVE Stream is to allow people who could not otherwise be in worship to worship in their current context.  This could mean military, homebound, hospitalized, vacationing or other weekend responsibilities.  We already have heard that one family intends to worship this weekend from a care facility.

You are able to access LIVE Stream and archived services at through our website.  You can also download the SundayStreams app on any device, including Roku or AppleTV.  We will only be streaming and archiving the Sunday 9:15 AM service until we are able to grow our volunteer support base.

We are excited that God has allowed this to all come together in time to begin with the first Sunday of the Explore God series.  This is truly an exciting time, and I pray this added worship opportunity is a blessing to you and your families in our effort to remain connected and united in God’s vision for us:  to mature as disciples of Christ who Walk with God, Grow in Faith Together and Love Our Neighbors.

In Christ,

Erik Gauss

Pastor’s Corner


Principal Search Update!

The Principal Search Committee had a productive holiday season and is poised to move into the interview phase with five exciting candidates.  Each candidate brings their own strengths and weaknesses and our hope is to find the best match for Cross.   The Committee will continue to receive new names and follow leads until the position is filled because even though Cross may like a candidate it does not mean the candidate will accept the position.  Remember, this isn’t a list of people who have applied for this position; this is a list of candidates the Committee has sought out and who remain open to the Holy Spirit working through the process.

In alphabetical order:

Dr. Philip Frusti – Dr. Frusti is currently the Executive Director of LeadaChild where he has served since 2017.  He received his Doctorate from Concordia University in Chicago in 2002 with an emphasis in School Leadership.

Jessica Gade – Mrs. Gade is a current school parent and Director of Immanuel Lutheran Preschool in Downers Grove, IL.  She received her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University in Portland in 2017.

 Jonathan Kamin – Jonathan most recently served as Principal at Immanuel Lutheran in Saginaw, MI until he went back into teaching in 2017.  He received his Master of Arts in Elementary Education in 2003 and completed his Van Lunen Fellowship in 2015.  Jonathan worked with Tec21 while at Immanuel to update the Educational technology.

Reid Otto – Reid is currently the Head of School at Heavenly Host Lutheran in Cookesville, TN.   He received his Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2010 and a Certificate in School Building Leadership from St. John’s University in 2017.

Zachary Weber – Zach is an active part of our congregation’s ministry and a former school parent.  His children now attend Eagle Pointe Elementary where Zach serves as Assistant Principal.   Zach received his Master of Education in Leadership and Administration from Benedictine University in 2010.

The search process will continue with video interviews this week and then possible on-site interviews in the coming weeks.  We hope you will give us any feedback you may have with regard to these candidates or any questions you have about the process at all.  Thank you for your ongoing prayers and, if you haven’t been praying, now is a great time to start!

In Christ,

Erik Gauss

Pastor’s Corner


On the twelfth of Christmas…

I know, I know, some of you are ready to be done with Christmas and move on.  I have spoken with several people who take their Christmas decorations down before the New Year! But, please, give me a moment to explain.  Before it was common practice to start Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving, the Christmas season didn’t begin until, well, Christmas Day.  Christmas Day was known as the first Day of Christmas.

The Christmas Celebration would continue on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Each day would celebrate a different part of the Christmas Story or the Christian tradition.  For example, December 26th is a widely shared remembrance of the first martyr of the Christian faith St. Stephen; December 28th is Holy Innocence Day to remember the children murdered by Herod in an effort to kill Jesus; and, January 1st is the naming and circumcision of Jesus.

The twelfth Day of Christmas is on January 6th and serves as another important celebration, Epiphany.  Epiphany is when it is celebrated that the Magi came to worship/ honor Jesus, the king of the Jews.  In reality, the Magi didn’t arrive for quite some time after Jesus was born (Herod killed all males under the age of two).  Frequently, Epiphany was more celebrated than Christmas itself with many deep and rich traditions.

I won’t be the guy that says that society has lost so much because we have been so focused on presents under the tree; but, I will say, that as Christians our celebrations and emphasis should be more intentional.  The celebration of Epiphany is probably the most meaningful to most all of you reading this article.  Unless you are a direct descendent of Abraham, aka a Jew by blood, Epiphany is the day that it is remembered that Jesus came for ALL people.

Over the years of the New Testament, the Jewish descendants had to be regularly reminded that the gentiles (or non-Jews) were just as important as those with strong blood lines.  Today, the Christian Church needs to continually remind itself that Christmas isn’t here for us but, rather, Christmas is here for ALL.  In turn, the modern day Christian Church ought to be here for ALL as well.

This year, Epiphany falls on a Sunday and so we will be celebrating the Light that has come to the world for ALL people.  Jesus is The Light of God who has come for you, me, our friends and our enemies. Jesus is God, who came down from Heaven to be with us!  So don’t put away all those decorations just yet; leave up a manger scene, with the wise men included, and remember God’s gift to ALL people.