Pastor’s Corner

Principal Call Update

This week we celebrated Lutheran Schools Week.  This is a time where we take a break from normal routine and insert some fun and appreciation for the blessings we have.  Parents, staff and students celebrate that we can worship Jesus, live out our faith and teach Biblical truth in every aspect of our day.  This is worth celebrating!

The theme for our nationwide celebration was “In All Things”.  The theme verses were Colossians 1:15-20, which remind of just that fact:  Christ is in all things.  From creation to a personal indwelling, Christ is in us and working through us.  This is not some mystical fable; no, Jesus is the Lord and Creator of all things, and so all things proclaim and testify to His handiwork.

Being in a Lutheran school means not only being blessed but being a blessing to others.  Throughout this week we celebrated the gifts that we have from God, but we also challenged one another to be a gift to those around us.  In other words, to remember Christ is in US and to let Christ shine through us as a blessing to the people and situations in our lives.  

For three years we have had a fearless Interim Principal, Paul Goffron.  He has led us through the ups and downs of COVID.  Through it all he has been a tremendous blessing for us.  In addition, our school has improved and grown in many ways under his leadership.  But the commute is long and his family has doubled in size since he started here, so we are looking for a principal who can move into the area, and he is looking for a position closer to home.  In all things we are trusting God.

Our Principal Call Committee has sought names and made contact with more than 40 candidates.  To date there are five names which remain on our Call list.  Please pray over these individuals and our entire process that the Lord would reveal to us and to the candidate how we can bless one another as we move forward in life and ministry together.

Eventually, the Call Committee will make a recommendation of a candidate or candidates to our congregation.  If the person is eligible for a Call, the congregation will vote to extend a Call or not.  If the candidate is not eligible for a Call, they would be offered a contract per our Constitution and congregational policies.  Either way, we believe they too will be a fellow servant of the Lord, brought here to be blessed and live as a blessing to others.

The five candidates currently on our active Call/search list are:

  • Miss Taylor Haese – Principal/Kindergarten Teacher, Ascension Lutheran, Fort Wayne, IN
  • Mr. Tony Holub – Math/Science Teacher, Oswego East High School, Oswego, IL
  • Mr. Kyle Klemp – Principal, Trinity Lutheran, Wahiawa, HI
  • Mrs. Dawn Koenig – Principal, Trinity Lutheran, Roselle, IL
  • Mr. Keith Traska – Math Teacher, Mayer Lutheran High School, Mayer, MN

Thank you for your prayers and your ongoing feedback and encouragement as we seek God’s leadership for our present and into the future.

For in Him (Christ) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  Colossians 1:16-17

In Christ,

Pastor Erik Gauss

Pastor’s Corner

You Are Needed!

It was wonderful to reconnect with so many of you last weekend.  We had several new faces and many returning faces gather together in the House of the Lord this past weekend.  The energy, the excitement, the words shared with me many times that is was so great to see so many people. 

Maybe it was the donuts or just “one of those weeks”, but it was great to celebrate Communion at the altar again and have so many there to receive it.  One family, going through a particularly difficult time, shared with me after service that they almost stayed home and watched online, but they were so glad they came.  Being in-person made a significant impact for their healing.

You might not realize it, but you are an encouragement to one another.  Your singing, your communing, your donuts and coffee eating – it all matters.  Those who serve are blessed when the service they offer is received well.  One of the most telling comments after service was “I guess we need to increase our donut order for next week!” 

You may remember Moses as a man of God with tremendous faith and strength.  He faced Pharaoh and his armies; he led the people through the desert; he met God face to face on Mt. Sinai.  Moses was a pretty remarkable dude.  One of my favorite accounts of Moses was when he was leading his people in battle against another people group led by Amalek. 

While Joshua was leading the people on the battlefield, Moses went up on the mountain to watch and pray.  As Moses lifted his hands in prayer, Joshua and the armies would fight strong; when his hands came down, they would lose.  The battle was long, and Moses grew weak.  Two men, Aaron and Hur, brought a stone over for Moses to sit on and then held up Moses’ arms until the people of God were victorious!  (Read more of this account in Exodus 17.)

As amazing as Moses was, even he couldn’t do it by himself.  We are a people of God connected in community to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24.  We think we can do it on our own, and for a while we can, but eventually, we all grow weary and need community.  Just as importantly, the community needs you!  Imagine what would have happened if Aaron and Hur had left Moses’ side because they didn’t think he needed them.  The people of God would have suffered greatly.  The same is true today.  You are needed.  We are all stronger together than we are alone.  It was great to see so many of you last weekend, and I look forward to seeing all of you again real soon!

In Christ,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Pastor’s Corner

We’ve missed you!

Donuts… In my head I can hear the semi-trance state voice of Homer Simpson.  A tasty dreamlike groan as he imagines savoring the delectable baked goods.  Are you craving a donut yet?  Good!  You can come to worship this weekend and once again share in the joy of coffee, donuts and fellowship between services!

This weekend we will be providing donuts and coffee.  In case you were wondering, we are aware that our coffee and donuts aren’t “world renowned”.  The fellowship of believers you will experience around these normal, everyday treats is truly Heaven sent.  Just one more example of how God uses the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary!

In Hebrews 10:25, God speaks to us through the author about the importance of fellowship and meeting together.  When we are together, we can “encourage one another” and spur one another toward love and good deeds.  The opposite of that we are warned against:  “neglecting to meet together”.  When we are apart, it is much more difficult to encourage one another.  

I will admit, with the technological advances we have today it is much easier to reach out and reconnect with one another.  At the same time, it is also much easier to feel alone and disconnected.  Life seems to move at such a fast pace that many feel like they are being forgotten or left behind. 

So, take a moment this weekend to stop and “meet together”.  Coffee and donuts are optional!

In addition to the incentive to fellowship over coffee and donuts, another more important fellowship experience is returning.  This weekend we will offer the option to come forward to receive Holy Communion.  For the last two years we have been only offering Communion “in the pew”; this option will still be available.  However, for those who desire to come forward as an act of worship, Communion will be available to be received from the pastor at the altar. 

As we reinstate Holy Communion at the altar, it will look different than you remember.  For many reasons we will be offering Communion in a different format than in the past.  This will simplify the distribution and also make it consistent across all the services.  We will consider further changes once the pandemic is fully in the past but, for now, we will still take into consideration several mitigation practices. 

We hope this weekend will feel more like the community that is so valuable to our faith journey.  We hope that these changes will encourage those who attend and inspire those who are uncertain to return to worship in person.  Even if you may be concerned about a larger gathering like worship, hopefully these changes will cause you to consider how to reengage or take one more step closer to being in true Christian community and fellowship.  

After all, it isn’t about the coffee and donuts; it is about our Lord who is at the center of it all.  It is about one another as we are the representatives of Christ.  It is about those far from God, whom God desires to draw near to Himself through us – you and me, His Holy Church. 

Can’t wait to reconnect!

In Christ,

Pastor Erik Gauss