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More on Pastor-Elect Aaron

Many of us were present on Wednesday evening to learn the name of our new (to be ordained) pastor. Aaron Chittick has had a very busy week and is finishing up his last two weeks of Seminary has added to the whirlwind that closes his time there.

In the middle of all the busyness, I was able to speak with him over the phone Thursday evening. During the conversation we had a chance to talk about a lot of things. But some of you want to know more about him a little more personally, so I offer that here.

Aaron Chittick
Aaron Chittick

Aaron is 31 years old and is the middle (between two brothers) of three children of a Pastor. He has a wife, Melissa and a new daughter, Loralei, who is three months old. Earlier when I learned of his young family, I was misinformed of her age, so three months is truly accurate.

He comes from the Cleveland, OH, area, but has lived in Florida as well. His vicarage was in Kansas (though I do not know the city). He spoke of how touched he was knowing that so many of us gathered together for worship during the Call Service. I let him know there are many more who wanted to attend, and that we had all been praying for him for quite some time — and that we will continue to do so.

He desires to visit as he is able, but if that is not a possibility, he has tentatively planned on starting with us June 16 after moving in that week/weekend. Melissa is seeking information on renting, particularly an apartment. If there is anyone who feels moved to assist, please contact Larry Bruce or the church office. She’ll be staying home to raise little Loralei, so we hope to help them find the best, most comfortable residence available.

Check back here for future updates, as I’ll post anything I can as I know it. We have sent Aaron a package containing several items to assist with familiarizing them with us at St. Paul, as well as with the Coldwater area. Anyone wishing to send him a card or a welcome package as well, please contact the church office for his address. In the meantime, please continue to lift up Aaron and his family in prayer.

Our New Shepherd

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After months of anticipation, we finally hosted our local Call Service tonight at 8:00pm. Along with thousands of viewers around the nation watching the Concordia St. Louis Call Service via Livestream, 42 members of St. Paul Lutheran gathered for worship to be the first to learn who will be our next pastor.

We began with an ice cream social for Lutheran fellowship at 7:30 before transitioning into the sanctuary. Using our projection screen and a laptop we participated as though we were there.

Near the end of the service, and after months of prayers, we learned that Aaron Chittick has been called to be our pastor. In the coming days, we will know more about him and we’ll share as much as we know as we learn it. For now, we have a name to pray for, and pray we must.

“Now all the vault if heav’n resounds… ‘Christ has triumphed! He is living!'” is what we sang tonight in concert with Aaron – hundreds of miles apart. We await a day soon when we sing together as we worship, fellowship, grow, serve, and share God’s glory under his guidance. God plan for us is good (Jer. 29:11).

Special Service – Call Day

As most you have been aware, we have been without a regular pastor here at St. Paul since the retirement of Pastor Curt Adams back in November. During that time, we have ben blessed to have had the guidance and service of Pastor Roger Olson, a retired pastor and chaplain for a Lutheran Home facility. I would like to offer the sincerest and most heartfelt THANKS on behalf of the St. Paul Congrecation to him and his wife Loita for their steadfastness and warmth and to Roger specifically for making it feel as though we were never in a call process.

However, it was indeed a time of prayer and consideration as we sought a replacement for Pastor Curt. Upon deciding as a Voters’ Assembly in February to request a graduate from the Seminary, we have been anxiously awaiting word from the Michigan District as to if we would be granted a called graduate and who he is. Officially we have learned that a graduate has been selected for us and that he will come from Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis!

We also learned that calls will be issued to expected graduates on Wednesday, May 1, beginning at 8:00 pm. This will be part of a special call day celebration at Concordia St. Louis. For us and dozens of congregations around the region, they have made a live stream (think broadcast, but over the Internet) available for us to participate in the service and learn who will receive a call to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Coldwater, MI.

You are invited to participate as you are able. There are two ways you can.

  1. Join us in fellowship and worship as we gather at church to participate in the service Wednesday evening. We’ll start with ice cream at 7:30 and then transition into the sanctuary for worship.
  2. View the service in the comfort of your own home. This requires broadband Internet access. Simply set your browser to callday.csl.edu/watch. Get a service folder from the office (or download at callday.csl.edu/callprogram2013.pdf).

If you choose not to participate, please give thanks and praise for this occasion and for our collective future in the service of our Savior. We look forward to what is in store for us.

In Christ,

Lawrence Bruce

Bold Faith II: True Love

Today we participated in the kick-off Sunday for Bold Faith II: True Love. This is the effort of the Coldwater Area Ministerial Association (CAMA) and church leaders from two-dozen congregations around the county. The goal of Bold Faith is to unite Coldwater area Christians around common scripture study, prayer, devotionals, and themed messages and to be witness to God’s great gifts here in our hometowns.

In order to maximize your participation, here is what is recommended through and by our involvement:

  1. Spend time in the word daily  Devotionals can be accessed at our church office or online at boldfaithinitiative.wordpress.com. For a automatic feed into your email, click the small “Follow” button at the bottom right of the page to sign up.
  2. Spend time in prayer daily  The Apostle Paul recommended to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), so deliberately setting a few minutes to connect isn’t so bad. At the bottom of the devotionals provided is a list of a few churches to specifically include in your prayer time.
  3. Don’t miss Sunday’s message  Each week, we will be using the same readings and lessons as every other participating church. Additionally, Pastor will be speaking on a themed topic related to the passage for the week. This unified study is a major part of achieving the goals of the Bold Faith Initiative. Here’s what to expect:
    • April 7 – God’s True Love For Me — Preaching Text: 1 John 4:7-16 (alt. text: Luke 15:11-24)
    • April 14 – My True Love For God — Preaching Text: 1 John 4:13-21 (alt. texts: Mark 12:28-34/John 14:21)
    • April 21 – True Love For Brothers — Preaching Text: 1 John 3:16-24 (alt. text: John 13:34-35)
    • April 28 – True Love For Others — Preaching Text: 1 John 2:1-11 (alt. text: Matthew 5:43-48)
  4. Grab a wristband  The white wristbands are a symbol of the unity and clearly state the purpose and theme – BOLD FAITH: TRUE LOVE. This is not a requirement, but is a way of indicating your participation, support, and making it clear who you are in this community. These can be picked up at our church office for a $.50 donation.

There is much that can be gained through this — you’ll never witness it without full involvement. Let Christ move to the center of our lives and may His work amaze us.

The Story of God

As we are firmly into the season of Lent, we like to have several opportunities to reflect regularly on our relationship with our Savior. There’s an old book on my shelf that I took ownership of when a library closed called The Greatest Story Ever Told. It is written as a narration of the life of Jesus. I’ve seen and heard that elsewhere – “the greatest story…” I can’t help but think that promoting our salvation as a story cheapen’s it a bit.

Back in December, an old friend, many of you might know him as Pastor Curt sent me this video called “The Story of God”. I knew I wanted to post it here, but I didn’t want it to be posted too early in this new site layout for it to be lost. Now it can serve as one of those items we can use to reflect on our place and our role as Children of God.