In last month’s edition of St. Andrew’s News, I wrote about our Members Meeting on June 3, which gave a large crowd of attendees an inside look at some of the latest blessings and initiatives on the horizon for our congregation. One that I didn’t mention in my letter, but was introduced by Board of Directors Chair, Glen Harvell, is the Calling of another full-time pastor to serve among us.
After considerable discussion, our leaders have determined that in order for our flock to continue to grow in its mission as well as in its care for those who are led to our church home, another shepherd will be needed to support our pastoral ministry. That will be especially true as we begin regular Bible Studies in Howard County this fall and begin to build relationships with those who meet us on that part of our mission field. But it will also be true as our faith is lived out and our passion for the Gospel renewed in Silver Spring and its surrounding communities.
In fact, it occurred to me that there were more full-time pastors on St. Andrew’s staff when I first arrived 21 years ago and our flock was considerably smaller than it is today. While we were led to expand our staff in the following years with others who offer specialized ministries such as youth and parish nursing, for example, the time has once again come for an additional pastor to help respond to the large and ever-growing number of spiritual needs and opportunities before us.
That said, the process of calling a new pastor is often lengthy, and ours is just getting underway. Our congregation’s team of Elders, chaired by Stan Jackson, will serve as the core of our Call Committee and will be working in the coming months to help us discover the additional pastor of God’s choosing for our life together. In addition to Stan, we will be represented on the Call Committee by Mandy Wingo, Duane Taylor, Jeanine Robb-McGrath, and Lynn Harty. Questions and comments are welcomed and updates will be provided as our Call process begins. I also invite you to join me in prayer for the Spirit’s direction in every step along the way.
From its earliest days, St. Andrew has been guided by God in its mission. You have never been content to rest on a plateau or act like our work is done. And so, it doesn’t surprise me that the months of summer will include several bold steps forward in the journey of faith as God leads us again into a future filled with promise. When the worshipers at our new Amharic Service arrived at our Members Meeting on June 3, your joyful affirmation was, in the words of Glen Harvell, more “thunderous than the rain that was pounding on the roof.” While I don’t think I’ll ever forget that wonderful moment, it was one of many such affirmations I’ve seen in you ever since I met you. For all of it I give thanks to God and look forward to worshiping with you this summer and finding our true refreshment in Christ as we keep “going” and doing His work together in the days ahead.
The Lord be with you+
In Christ, your brother,