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Thursday, June 22, 2017

July 2017

Dear Friends,

This has been a good year. I mean it. I've gotten to know many of you well, and vice versa. To say you have had an impact on me would be an understatement, and not give justice to what really took place this passed year. I just pray I made an impact somewhere along the way for you all.

I know many of you have shared your anxieties about the future of your congregation with me. While those anxieties may be somewhat founded, they in the end are misplaced. I don't mean to belittle anything, but if you attended the Divine Service on June 25th, you will have heard the scripture reading from Matthew 10 - and the sermon with its text as such. In the Gospel reading for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, Matthew 10:21-33, Jesus proclaims these words: "29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

What a profound text for this time as you continue to look to Call a pastor. Because, while at times it seems like things can't get any worse, this word comes along and gives you hope. Why? Because if even the sparrow is not given permission to die until the Father says so, so even more He cares for you and will always do so. You are His child; you are His creation. In fact, you are more valued than any precious stone or metal God’s timing is not our timing. You are his greatest treasure.
Yes, while His thoughts are not our thoughts. His goodness is not our goodness. You have hope. Yes, God pushes the limits, and gives us more than we can handle all the time. But this is so He can point back to Himself, to Christ, to His never ending grace and mercy. Christ, will be the bridegroom, will protect you until the end of days will always remain, for you are His bride. He will always continue to forgive you, to give you life, and proclaim your salvation as a free gift that only He, Himself could ever give. This is who God is and will always be: for you.

While this is goodbye for now, remember these promises of your God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - for He created you, redeemed you, and continues to sanctify you all until your final breath or when Jesus returns to deliver you from evil. He will always remain, He will always be your mighty fortress.

I will miss you all; you have touched Amy, Otto, and my life in ways that I can’t begin to explain. You will remain in my prayers. And while this is "ta ta" for now, I look forward to seeing you all again in glory, in our Father's house, when we meet our Lord Christ Jesus face to face, when the suffering of this age and world finally end. Therefore, farewell and God's speed my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

Your Brother in Christ,
Pastor Jonathan Holmes

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email