Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – Trinity Sunday

Like Christmas or Easter, Trinity Sunday is a holiday in the life of the Church. For various reasons it is less memorable than the “Big” holidays but it is equally important. On Trinity Sunday we celebrate the nature of God and the relationship of the Trinity.

This year, I pray that Trinity Sunday has a little extra joy with it. Ever since Easter we have been exploring the nature of God in the Creeds. The Creeds are all written in a format that highlight the three persons of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, while at the same time celebrate their unity as one God.

God’s nature, three-in-one or triune, can be a bit challenging to wrap our minds around. Sometimes this challenge is a bad thing because we stop trying to understand and leave “that technical stuff” to the pastors, leaders, etc. But sometimes it is a good thing. When we finally open our minds to embrace the nature of God, we realize that there are no words to describe Him. He is a being that is unique and complex in comparison to us. When life gets complicated, it is comforting to know we have a Big God who can handle our big challenges.

When we take the time to learn more about God’s nature, we start to learn more about ourselves. This makes sense because He is the one that designed and created us. The fact that we are each unique with our own purpose in this world is a testament to our individual person’s. The reality that we are completely lost without companionship or said another way, we are designed to be in community, is a testament to His unity.

“It is not good for man to be alone.” These are the words of God shortly after He breathed life into Adam. It isn’t good to be alone, it is against the nature of our creator to be alone. The nature of God is communal, one God but three persons. He created us to have a relationship with Him and with each other and at the same time to have purpose and value as an individual.

It is difficult to balance life in community with life as an individual, we need both. Trinity Sunday reminds us that we were designed for both. The struggle is that because of the curse of sin on the world we tend to desire one over the other. Like so many things in this world we are blessed to experience, the idea is easier than the implementation. But praise be to God that we have His word and presence to guide us.

The nature of God can get complicated, especially if we try to overthink it. Let’s keep it simple, but not simplistic. God “calls, gathers and enlightens” us by the power of His Holy Spirit. Our job is to listen, follow and mature as the children of God. Anything more than that is simply details. How we listen, where we follow when we mature, who we serve.

This Trinity Sunday we will continue to explore what we believe about God and what that means in our lives. We have a big God who continues to do big things in small ways. Individuals, working together, each doing our own small part united together in by our big God to make a difference for His Kingdom in this world.

Just like the Trinity, it can seem overwhelming at first. Then, just like the Trinity, we realize it is truly about individuals and relationships working together. These relationships, when entrusted to God’s will, show the presence of God to each other and the world. Another mystery, that God would choose to use us to make Himself know to the world. It is truly big, amazing and indescribable and, it is truly simple, beautiful and real.

In Christ,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, June 3, 2023
Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Acts 2:14a, 22-36

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – Then What Happened?

In a recent interview for our Children and Family Ministries positions, the candidate gave an answer that truly surprised me. We asked an obvious question. “Tell us about a time where your faith became important to you.” She shared about how she grew up in the church, went through Sunday school and confirmation but it wasn’t until High school that she got the answer to one of her most personal questions. “What happened after Jesus was raised from the dead?”

In all her years of Christian education/formation there had been a tremendous amount of energy placed on Jesus’ living, dying and rising again. This isn’t a bad thing. After all, if the story did end there it would still be the greatest event in the history of the world. Jesus’ death and resurrection would be the pinnacle of the human race and the hope for all the world.

The issue for this candidate is an issue of faith that many people have with Christianity today, the question is “Now what?!?” It is Great News that Jesus saved us from our sins. It is amazing news that we have eternity secured because of Him. It is indescribable news that our guilt, shame and doubt have no authority in this world. But, then what happens? What does all this information mean for my life?

The Biblical account of what happened after Jesus rose from the dead is a tremendous journey through the many responses. Some believed immediately, some doubted, some were afraid, some rejoiced, some were killed, many were transformed by the life and witness of those who believed.

Too many times we discredit ourselves, or worse let others discredit us. A journey through the New Testament records of Jesus life and the many responses to His resurrection should give us encouragement. It doesn’t matter the background, sex, role, age or nationality of the individuals all of them responded in unique ways. As we read the biblical account, we can see similarities in ourselves and in the people and family we encounter every day.

This weekend we remember and celebrate the Ascension of Jesus Christ. He did not die after Easter but up into heaven with a resurrected, living body. The response of the witnesses and those who heard is an inspiration for us, even today. Jesus prays for you and me, prays for those who hear the Good News though our lives and sends the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide us.

“So, what Happens Next?” The amazing thing about the story of Jesus Christ is that it still isn’t over. Even to this day the work, life and ministry of Jesus is living and active in our lives and through our lives. The “Holy Christian Church” is the body of Christ at work in the world. He is present, now, in us and through us. And this will never end.

So, what is next? In many ways it is up to you, allowing God to work through you. In other ways, God is doing His work whether you realize it or not. One thing is for certain, God promises to be with always to the very end of the age and even then, He promises to take us to be with Himself, forever. So, let’s take a moment to celebrate and rejoice. Let’s find a moment of peace and hope in the chaos. After all the amazing work and ministry of Jesus has only begun even if the hardest part is already finished.

“(Jesus said) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Then you will tell people about me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria. And you will even tell other people about me from one end of the earth to the other.” Acts 1:8

In Christ,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, May 14, 2023
Ezekiel 37:1-14; Luke 24:36-49

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – Many Hands Working Together

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16

To say “There is a lot going on at Cross these days” would be an understatement. In fact, I could probably write a pastor’s corner every day and still not be able at adequately describe the beauty of the Body of Christ at work! Our teachers and school team are being celebrated by our parents. It is lavish, deserved and so appreciated. Our teachers sacrifice so much for our students and families and for them to be recognized and appreciated is wonderful. I will say, the team that puts the appreciation together is certainly over the top and amazing in their own right!

Our building process is rocking and rolling and all of the parts that need to come together are many. I am so thankful for the team of committed leaders that are working to do everything that is needed. We are clearing out cold storage, getting permits and land surveys, finalizing the loan requirements, finalizing contract language with the builders, planning for our groundbreaking, and working to get the old septic tanks moved out of the way of the new addition.

All of these extra new construction needs are added on top of the regular end of the year events. We have many celebrations: School graduation, Wednesday night discipling, ministry year-end activities, and finishing up classroom instruction objectives. It is typically a chaotic time of year; this year is extra special. But we have a great team and a greater God.

Each person is doing a part and those parts are adding up to many great things! This week Aurora Christian High School came out and helped our Thrift Shop get closer to completing the move into their new facility, clearing up more space to work in Cold Storage. Our Middle School Students took a few minutes of their gym time and moved the worship chairs into the Fellowship Hall. This would have taken one person over an hour to do alone but was completed in just a few minutes.

When we are working for Jesus, we know that we are part of something bigger and even if we do a small part, it advances God’s will for the world. But, when it comes to faith and ministry, we don’t always get to see all of the other parts working. With this construction project you will get to see many of the parts working together and the results will be visible for all to see. My prayer is that the many parts working together to accomplish this construction will be an inspiration for us all to continue to work together to accomplish the big goal: to mature as disciples of Jesus, who make more disciples of Jesus.

Keep praying and keep trusting that even the smallest part, when combined with all the body of Christ working together and blessed by God Himself is able to produce fruit “100 times” more than we ever imagined.

See you all at the Groundbreaking on June 11th at 9:11AM at Cross!

“Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:8

In Christ,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, May 14, 2023
1 John 1:5-10; Luke 7:41-50

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – Congregational Meeting This Sunday!

Yes, it is short notice, but we have some exciting, time sensitive opportunities God has placed before us. We have been praying and seeking God’s direction to fill the vacancies on our ministry team here at Cross. We lead with prayer and with faith that God will lead us to the person He intends to serve. The process can be both grueling and rewarding, especially as we remain open to all that God does through the process.

Through this process we are not just looking for the next person to “hire” but instead are looking for the person God would give us to extend a “Divine Call”. The Call process does, at times, look like a hiring process, but at times it is also very different. One way it is different is that the congregation is asked to pray and decide (discern) if God is in fact leading the process. A “Yes” vote means we believe God is asking us to extend a Call to this individual, which they may or may not accept. Sometimes the Call leads to a match and sometimes it refines the process and leads us to the next step.

Both Call Committees have identified a candidate to present to the congregation for their respective positions! We will be voting for both of these candidates separately at the Congregation meeting on Sunday May 7th at noon. Per our by-laws there will be a week long vote that concludes on May 14th after the last worship service.

The Discipleship Call Committee is recommending Jessica Dvorak to serve as Director of Christian Education (DCE). Her specific role would be a part-time position to oversee the ministry of 5th -12th grade youth. Jessica graduated from Emporia State University in Kansas as an English major and was a high school English teacher for three years. =In 2016 Jessica earned her DCE certificate from Concordia Seward, NE and was called to Concordia Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids IA. Jessica married her husband Chris, a high school English teacher, in 2012 and were blessed with a son Noah. Jessica and Chris have had multiple miscarriages and as part of their journey have leaned into their faith for healing. Jessica resigned her call in 2019. She has recently been serving as a volunteer in various discipleship capacities at Trinity Lutheran in Cedar Rapids, IA under the leadership of DCE Tony Dixon. Chris is searching for a position near Yorkville. They are excited to become a part of the Cross family while they seek God’s will to grow their family.

The Teacher Call Committee is recommending Rebekah Hahn (Bekah). Bekah is an alumnus of Cross School. Her dad, Jeff, is our current 8th grade teacher and her mom, Pam, is our Financial Assistant. Bekah would begin her ministry at Cross in 5th grade and oversee Reading classes for the Middle School. Bekah has served in Matoon, IL currently is serving at Bethany, Naperville. Bekah is excited to come back to Cross and Yorkville where her family runs Homeplate Hotdogs in Town Square Park during the summer. Bekah will marry Chris Galloway this fall! Chris will be a High School Teacher at YHS in the Business department.

As you can see God is doing some amazing things and leading us to some wonderful candidates whose journey in life seems to be matching up well with our journey as a congregation. Please come to the meeting on Sunday, May 7th at noon and pray with us. Then be sure to vote sometime during the week as the Lord leads you. IF we call both of these candidates and they both accept, we will continue our search for another member of our Discipleship team. This would be a full-time position to oversee Children and Family Ministries. Please keep all of this in your prayers as we seek God’s will and direction for Cross.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2

In Christ,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, May 7, 2023
Acts 4:32-37 Matthew 28:16-20

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – Groundbreaking News!

“To Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20

To say we received more than I prayed for would be an understatement. Throughout Lent I was praying for a strong voter turnout and clear results. In my heart I would have been satisfied with a “Yes” or a “No” as long as the Holy Spirit brought unity and direction through the disciples of the congregation.

After 8 weeks of Lent, Easter, Fireside Chats, prayer and our week-long congregation vote; God has provided a strong voice and direction. We had 200 disciples vote. 98% of those votes were “yes”! It is time to expand our Church and School ministries! 24 years ago our Cold storage was built in faithfulness of God’s continued blessings at Cross. Today, we begin completion of that space creating a new, expanded space for school ministries, Children’s ministries and various other opportunities.

This is an amazing turnout and clear direction from God through the people of God. There is excitement and nervousness in the air. It is a big commitment, and a tremendous challenge lies ahead of us. Yet, the people of God took a leap of faith, and we are leaping together! Since the vote, God has continued to send people from the community to inquire at our school.

On Sunday June 11, 2023, at 9:11AM we will gather as a family of faith and break ground on the new project. This start date will balance the tension of prep work to be completed but also a start date that will allow us to finish in time to start the 2024-25 school and ministry year in the new facility.

The next step is to clean out cold storage. We will need lots of hands to sort and move items from cold storage to their new destination. Current items in cold storage will be kept, sold, or put in storage for use in the new space. This next year will be tight as we try to keep growing but with less space. But, after this year, the new expansion should allow us to move forward in an exciting and powerful way.

In times of great growth comes great challenges. The devil is never satisfied to leave us alone. Let us be bold to keep one another in prayer! Please keep the construction workers and school families covered with protection. Pray for your teachers and church staff and pray for one another. This is not completed and there is much faithful sacrifice and commitment needed from each of us. Pray that God will continue to protect and increase the unity and conviction he has so graciously provided. To God be the glory!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20,21

In Christ,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, April 30, 2023
Titus 3:3-8; John 14:15-17, 25-26

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – I (We) Believe

“I am the resurrection and the Life… Do you believe this?” During the church season of Lent, as part of the build up to Easter, we explored the account of Lazarus. In this account, Jesus’ friend Lazarus dies and his two sisters await Jesu’s arrival. Upon His arrival, Jesus reminds the women in their grief that He Himself is the resurrection and the Life. And then that all important question; “Do you believe this?”

Much discussion has been had over the centuries about what Jesus meant by this. Without vocal tone or facial expression we are left to interpret this through the immediate context and the context of scripture. Ultimately Jesus is asking them if their heart and mind are responding to the situation in the truth of faith or the perceptions of the flesh.

In this season after Easter, we will be exploring what Christians actually believe about God and His relationship with the world. As part of this we will be inviting one another to look at how we are responding to God’s truth. Are our actions, emotions and thoughts dictated by the perceptions and realities of this world, or are we able to rise above them by the power of God at work within us?

The perceptions of the flesh are not lies, they are real. In fact, they are so real that our perceptions often control our actions. For example, the heartache of Lazarus’ death was causing much stress and grief for his sisters and tension in their relationship conversations with Jesus. Jesus’ loving but firm reminder that Lazarus would rise again acts as a mirror to the sisters. Grief is real, stress is real, worry is real, sin is real. So real that we cannot and could not solve it ourselves. God became flesh to overcome and give us the victory.

Christ is risen and His resurrection is our resurrection. His victory is our victory. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave is given to each of us to battle and overcome our daily challenges. Do you believe this?

Just as Jesus’ question served to challenge the sisters, we too will be challenged by God’s truth. Just as Jesus comforted and strengthened them by His presence, He too will comfort and strengthen us. And just as Lazarus was transformed from death to life before their very eyes, we too are transformed daily by the grace of God in us. This We believe! I pray that this belief and faith will grow and lead us during these next few weeks as we celebrate Easter and our faith in the promises of God fulfilled.

“The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, April 23, 2023
Isaiah 43:1-7; Luke 24:13–35

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – A New Season At Cross

This time of year is filled with change. The weather is warmer, school is drawing to a close and many milestones achieved throughout the year will be celebrated. Playoffs for many popular sports have recently concluded and baseball season has begun. And, lest we forget, the church year transitions from the penitential season of Lent to the celebratory tone of Easter!

This weekend we will host a congregation meeting to decide if we will enter a new season of ministry. On the ballot is a vote to begin construction on a Ministry Expansion project. In some ways, the idea of moving the school from the nearly 100 year old facilities is difficult. So many memories and blessings in our current space. In other ways, the plans allow our school facilities to remain an excellent place for students to learn and grow academically, socially and spiritually.

More than just a new and expanded school facility, this expansion will also include dedicated ministry space for children’s ministry as well as create space for our youth in grade 5-8. This is an exciting time for us to consider all that God has done and is doing in our midst. But change isn’t always easy, it often contains much that is unknown and requires a sacrifice of how things have been

Sometimes we are eager to let go of the old and reach for the new. Sometimes we cling to the past and dread change. Usually these feelings and desires are driven by internal thoughts about the personal benefits or losses. Our personal feelings are very important, God works through us to accomplish His plans for us and others. But our feelings are not the only thing to consider.

When it comes to ministry, God asks us to take one more thing into consideration. God asks us to consider the benefits the change will bring to His Kingdom’s presence here on earth. Sometimes we like the changes that allow God’s message of forgiveness and salvation to be shared with others. Sometimes we don’t like it because it requires us to change. All of this matters to God.

When we are willing to allow God to lead us to places that makes us uncomfortable or challenging we are fulfilling God’s calling for us to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Walking by faith is seldom easy but it is always rewarding. Walking by faith stretches us and transforms us into the people God created us to be. Walking by faith gives us a bigger purpose, and an eternal purpose to shine His light and share His hope with the world.

I do not know where God will lead us in the vote, many have asked. But, I do believe He is calling us forward into a new season, if I didn’t believe this, I wouldn’t be leading this. I am also eager to see how God is at work through you. I am confident that as we each are attentive to our own needs, and also to the needs of others, whatever decision we make will lead us forward on the path and plan He has for us.

Regardless of the outcome, it will be a new season. If we begin construction, it will be difficult, exciting and new. If we vote to not build, it will be difficult, exciting and new for a whole different set of reasons. Either way I pray for unity and faithfulness for our whole community of faith to follow where God leads and make an impact for His Kingdom sake in the community in which we live and serve together.

“…make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” Philippians 2

His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, April 16, 2023
Genesis 1:1-5; 1 John 4:7-13; John 20:19-31

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – Christ Is Risen

The Greatest Day in History. Our celebration this weekend highlights more than just a miracle where a man comes back to life after three days in the grave. The majesty of Easter is that because of the events that surround this resurrection, this resurrection is the resurrection of ALL people.   

Death is the natural consequence of sin. On the cross Jesus dies as the consequence of taking the sin of all people upon Himself. Easter is the victory over sin AND death. The sin that was taken from us is still gone AND Jesus is alive! It seems impossible for both of these things to be true, but they are. 

One could reasonably argue that Jesus took our sins and was sacrificed for them. Others could be convinced that Jesus died and came back to life. The greatest miracle of this all is that Jesus both died for our sins AND is once again alive! Christ is Risen!   

The miracle of Easter extends beyond one day, it changes everyday for every person. All of our sins are forgiven, forever, no questions asked. On the Cross of Calvary Jesus suffered and was forsaken by God because of our sin. We know this because Jesus himself was without sin. His punishment had to be for our sin or for no reason at all. His death was our death. 

Anyone can die, but Christ is risen! His resurrection on Easter proved that He had the authority to die in our place. His resurrection validated that His claims to be the Savior are true. His resurrection essentially proves His divine person and position and that sin and death have no power over Him or His people.  

Easter completes the story of the power and love our God has for His people. Easter means we are free from the guilt and shame of the past and we are free from the fear and uncertainty of our future. Both our past and our future are secure in the Easter Resurrection. Because Christ lives, we live also.  We are alive and free today and will live forever. It is finished; Christ is risen! 

The beauty and power of Easter is challenging to comprehend. To understand the ways and impact of God stretches even the most learned of minds. Here is the exciting part; God doesn’t ask us to understand, He asks us to believe and be free. Let’s do that together this weekend, and let’s continue do that every day as we are born anew in the Spirit of God and the freedom we have in Him. 

Christ is Risen!  Nothing can take away the joy and peace of that simple and powerful truth.  

“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”  Matthew 28:5-6

His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, April 9, 2023
Job 19:25-26, Acts 10:34–43 Jerermiah 31:1–6 Psalm 16 Colossians 3:1–4 Matthew 28:1–10

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – The King’s Coronation

Palm Sunday is here. This weekend we will celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The entry reads like the coronation of a King. Kingly coronations and parades/processions are linked throughout history like peas and carrots. On May 6th of this year there will be a new King over the United Kingdom. If you look at the plans for that day, before the ceremony there will be a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey named “The King’s Procession”. After the Ceremony there will be another procession, this one from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace. This procession is called “The Coronation Procession”. That is two parades in one day!

This was no different in Jesus’ day. The tradition of the Hebrew people, from the time of their first King Saul, has been attached to a donkey. The image this gives is of a Servant King who is there for the people he serves. At times a king would ride a war horse to symbolize the fight against Israel’s enemies but, even then, the king should remain in service to God and God’s people.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey the people worked into a frenzy. For centuries the oppression of Roman leadership and other outside nations had held political control over Jerusalem and the nation of Israel. Was Jesus the long promised Messiah that would lead them to victory over their oppressors? Would Jesus establish the Kingdom of God once again by putting a descendant of King David on the political throne? The people seemed to think so.

Jesus rode into town on that donkey and the people believed He would deliver them form political oppression. Jesus did deliver them, just not the way they wanted Him to.

Jesus as King was not about political reform or the establishment of an earthly kingdom. Jesus as King established the Kingdom of God on earth. A Kingdom of repentance and forgiveness. Wen Jesus is on the throne of your life it doesn’t matter who is on the throne of the government.

Even to this day the self-proclaimed people of God would prefer political power and worldly wealth. We would prefer a King who rode in on a white stallion or a powerful chariot. We would prefer laws that would control our land and make it a safe and prosperous place to live. Even to this day we miss the Messiah in the desires of our flesh.

“Seek first the Kingdom of God.” “Love the Lord your God with all your Heart Soul Mind and Strength.” When we seek God first. When Jesus is on the Throne of our life, and we live for Him. All these other issues tend to fade into the back. What good is it for the world to take all my possessions or even my life when I have eternal life and treasures stored in Heaven?

The ability to “Have no other gods” is not possible on our own. The daily battle we have with our own flesh and the world proves too much and overwhelms us. We are not alone. We have a Savior, a King who has come to save, a King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our Messiah. He comes to you riding a donkey in peace and forgiveness, hope and redemption. Even after He comes to us and we crucify Him in the sin of pride and worldliness, He remains with us.

Jesus establishes His throne in our hearts and minds. He awakens our spirit from fear and death with His Holy Spirit. He unites us together in a Kingdom of believers that reigns now and will reign forever. It may not look like much at times, but it is in fact the Power of Salvation for All who believe.

Join us this weekend as we remember the triumphal entry of Jesus and throughout this Holy Week. Each service is unique and leads us on the journey to live as God’s chosen people in a kingdom under our King who sits on the throne forever.

His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, April 2, 2023
1 Peter 5:6-11; John 12:12-19; Matthew 6:9-13

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – Call Committee Updates

Seasons of leadership transition can be challenging. They can also be an opportunity to recognize weaknesses and seek to improve. While it is always difficult to say farewell to important and loved leaders in the faith, it is also a season to lean into God and remember it is God who provides through these leaders and He will continue to provide as we seek Him.

The Call (Search) Committee for our next Discipleship team member is excited to announce that we have two candidates who will be visiting campus in the near future. These candidates have different expertise and different backgrounds and we are excited to meet them and their families.

Jessica Dvorak will be visiting this weekend! This visit was planned quite quickly but we are confident that it will be a blessing to Jessica and her family to visit before Easter rather than wait until after Easter. Jessica married Chris in 2012 and next year their son Noah will be in kindergarten. Jessica completed her DCE certification in 2016 while taking time off as a teacher to raise Noah.

Jessica formerly taught English in high school but has been serving in ministry in Cedar Rapids, Iowa since 2014. She began as a volunteer and has grown in her role and experience ever since. Jessica has served all ages but specializes in jr. high through college-age ministries. With Noah entering school next year, she is excited to continue her growth and is open to God’s direction. Her husband is a high school English teacher.

Emilie Glaw will also be visiting Cross. She and her family are scheduled to visit after Easter on Wednesday, April 12. Emilie serves a congregation in Geneseo, IL and oversees all discipleship ministries as well as music. She is dual certified as a DCE (Director of Christian Education) and DPM (Director of Parish Music) so, as you can imagine, she will be quite busy from now until after we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord!

Emilie married Jim in 2008 and they have a first grade son, Jonathan. Emilie’s favorite work is with children and their families. She loves coordinating and organizing ministry like Vacation Bible School. She believes parents are key in the spiritual formation of their children and loves to help parents grow in their confidence and ability to live as God’s people at home and in the world. Emilie is looking to serve in a setting where she is able to spend more time dedicated to Children and Family ministry.

Please continue to pray for these candidates and our entire call committee. Please pray for our volunteers who continue to sustain and support the ministries in this time of transition. We look forward to visiting with our candidates and their families and seeking God’s direction together.

“Your word (O LORD) is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Scripture Readings for Sunday, March 26, 2023
Genesis 2:5-9, John 11:17-27