The phrase “following the cloud” is more than a tagline for my blog. It is how I try to live my life.
I adopted this phrase many years ago when I was teaching the Bible A-Z class at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. I observed how God leads God’s people through the sweep of the Biblical story. God led the nation of Israel through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When the cloud stopped, they stopped and set up camp. When the cloud moved, they pulled up stakes and moved out. The Spirit led Jesus and the apostles through unlikely and circuitous routes, without any map.
This is how God continues to lead in our life. God led my wife, Lona, and I from Wheaton College to Las Vegas to manage Fasen Arts; from Fasen Arts to Central Christian Church and Bethel Seminary; from Central to Hart Haus; from Hart Haus to Minnesota and Spot Studios; from Spot to Grace Lutheran Church in Andover and Luther Seminary.
The cloud has hovered over Grace Lutheran Church for the past seven years. I have had the privilege to serve this congregation in both adult and youth ministry. The generous people of Grace allowed me to complete a Ph.D. from Luther Seminary in Congregational Mission and Leadership. It has been a wild and wonderful journey.
Now it seems that the cloud is lifting.
On February 7, Pastor Kris Capel, the lead Pastor of Easter Lutheran Church, called me up and wondered if I would be interested in a position on their staff. I have sensed the cloud stirring since last summer, but I wasn’t sure what God was up to. Then, when I received this call, it all fell into place.
The call committee and the Vision Board recommended me to the people of Easter and it will come to a congregational vote on April 9. You can read the open letter to the congregation here.
I approach this possibility with mixed emotions. On one hand, I am extremely humbled and excited for the opportunity to join this team. On the other hand, I am also sad about leaving Grace and the many wonderful relationships that have been built over the years and the memories we share.
I will write more about this in the coming weeks. For now, I simply share this news.
Nothing is 100% official until the congregation votes on the 9th. Until then I invite you all to pray with me that we will discern the movement of the cloud of God and have the courage to follow.