Reflections from the Pastor
November Is a Wonderful Month
November is a wonderful month.
November is wonderful, since it may bring a hint of snow and ice. I love to ice skate.
November is wonderful, since many of us will have opportunities to gather for Thanksgiving.
November is wonderful, since it is my birthday month. (Yes, the entire month.)
November is wonderful, because for the first time in many, many months, most of this month will not be devoted to political advertising or campaigning or endless commentating and spinning.
November is wonderful, because Thanksgiving reminds many people to practice hospitality to the poor and to strangers and refugees and to the homeless.
November is wonderful, because on November 20th I was invited to preach at Belmont’s Interfaith service on Sunday evening, so you will all have a chance to worship twice on the same day, a double blessing.
November is wonderful, because I am humbled to begin November 1st as your pastor.
I am excited to begin my journey with you, to get to know you, to listen to you, to learn your stories. I have heard many wonderful things about the congregation of Payson Park, from how people feed the hungry and serve faithfully at Bristol Lodge, to how people share their joys and sorrows in prayer to God, to how a brand new community outreach was launched with outdoor summer music and glow sticks in the local park.
I will also be sharing some of my story with you. I will be telling you about how my Ukrainian Orthodox mom met my Norwegian Lutheran dad. I will be sharing stories about my twin daughters, Karin and Becca. I will share with you my car accident and emergency surgeries, my opportunities to try out various Epi-Pens on my leg. I will be telling you about my love of music, how I literally sang entire songs before I learned to utter my first sentence.
I will be sharing how I have found myself in God’s story, embraced in my mother’s arms, broken by the poverty of the “ghetto of the Pacific,” building a health clinic on a mission trip among Haitian sugarcane slaves in the Dominican Republic, leading youth in repairing homes for the poor, being humbled at how I find Jesus in the people around me who witness God’s love.
Soli Deo Gloria. Thanks be to God. Thanks be to God for this moment in time, to begin my journey alongside you, in this wonderful month of November.