|Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ our
Lord and Savior!
It is with mixed emotions that I am writing to inform you that on Sunday, December 30th the congregation of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes voted to extend me a call as their pastor. I intend to accept that call.
For almost 13 years Zion Lutheran and the Milaca community has been our family home, and it has been a good home. You welcomed my family and me with open arms and gave us a nurturing church home and for this I will always be appreciative. Both of our children graduated from Milaca Public Schools and Julia and I believe they received a very good education thanks to some wonderful, hardworking teachers. For this we are also appreciative. Suffice to say, packing up and saying good-bye will be difficult.
This past summer I hit that 60-year milestone and with that comes the realization that I am not getting any younger and I am not quite ready for retirement life. So, while I still have energy and excitement for parish ministry I feel the need for a new adventure and challenge. Who knows, perhaps with all the lakes in close proximity I might get serious about fishing, thus paving the way for an eventual retirement.
For as long as Julia and I have been married we have become convinced of the truth that---if you want to hear God laugh, tell him you got plans! When we got married the plan was to stay in Mora for 5 years and then move back to the metro area. That was 25 years ago and now we are moving further north and to a smaller community!
Our initial plan is for Julia to finish out the school year at Mora, and I will seek temporary housing in the Pequot Lakes area and then try to find permanent housing once we sell our home here. Suffice to say, life will be a bit crazy for the next few months.
I plan to meet with the Executive Committee prior to our January Council meeting to work out some wrap up work and a final date. In the coming month one of the synod staff will visit with the church council to help walk them through the next steps.
I know I have said this before and I suspect I will say it again, the most often sited command in scriptures is the simple: “Fear not” and “Do not be afraid.” I mention this for your sake and mine. Taking leaps of faith are scary and unsettling, while at the same time very exciting and rewarding. We are in good hands, God’s hands, the same hands that have watched over and cared for this congregation for the past 125 years. I do not believe that will change. So, carry on my friends. Continue to do the good work you have always done. Continue to welcome the stranger, care for the lonely, feed the hungry, bring comfort to others and always share the good news of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Living in God’s amazing grace, Pastor Stephen Blenkush
with the cross of Christ forever,