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A Very Pastoral Week Ahead

This week I get to feel the full impact of being the Associate Pastor. Our senior pastor is gone for the week on a much-deserved 25th wedding anniversary trip with his wife. That means I preached last weekend and will preach again this weekend. When he left I said, “Don’t worry, if anything pastoral happens, we’ve got it covered.” Little did I know…

The very next day I received news that no one wants to hear. My friend, and the current president of the vision board, showed up on my door step Saturday morning and told me that a mutual friend had died suddenly the night before. Jay Lange was a solid part of the core of our congregation: a catechism leader, Own Your Faith mentor, men’s ministry, communion, and all-around go-to-guy. Now he is gone and our senior pastor is out of the country. It falls to me to step up and be the pastoral presence for the family and the congregation during this time of shock and grief.

Interestingly, we had a baptism this past Sunday, so I participated in my first baptism without Mark. Two back-to-back sermons, high school group, catechism, funeral for a friend and integral part of our ministry, and studying for my third attempt at passing the Theological German exam next Friday. breathe…breathe…we can do this: Not alone, but with the Spirit’s power and the incredible teamwork of our Grace community, we can do this.

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