From the desk of Pastor Eric Hauan
Dear St. Mark’s family.
I am writing this letter to you at this interesting moment in time for our church. We just had Pastor Matt and his wife Haley visit St. Mark’s. The entire visit went very well. They were shown around town, interacted with the Ministerial Staff and the Call Committee, and worshiped with us after answering some questions in front of our congregation. All in all they got a taste of who we are as a congregation and what we are looking for in an Associate Pastor. After some parting words I know that Matt and Haley know who we are and what we need. They both said we did a wonderful job of making our ministry and mission abundantly clear.
This entire process was interesting for me because a little over two years ago my wife Jill and I were in this exact same position. Jill and I were committed and rooted to where God had placed us at the time, and also open to where God could be taking us. Many people hear about the Call process and experience it as church members, but I am here to tell you that it is something entirely different to go through.
I think of the many people of faith who followed the Call of God in Scripture. In most cases, in much more dramatic ways than pastors do nowadays. Think of Abram leaving everything behind that would have giv-en him comfort and security and going to a foreign land knowing nothing about where he was going. I think the radical leap of faith the Prophets went through in not only knowing the difficult message they had to pro-claim to the world around them, but to do it amongst people who didn’t want to even hear it.
Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel come to mind in their ef-forts to bring God’s truth and word to a people destined for destruction. That is what they were called to. They were called to even minister in a time of captivity in some cases, where the future looked bleak and hope-less. So many of God’s people, men and women, were called to greater purposes than they could fathom at the time.
Ruth is another great example of being called to stay by Naomi’s side and remain with her. This simple calling to remain, unknown to Ruth at the time, helped to preserve the bloodline of God’s people that eventu-ally led to Jesus Christ being born one day. A person needs to turn no fur-ther than Scripture to see how the inward Call process has always been a beautiful Spirit driven aspect of God’s plan of Salvation for His people.
Now we turn to today and the Call process that continues on for His servants. It is a uniquely intense, prayer driven, and Spirit led experience that challenges people to the core of their soul. I was reminded of this when talking with Matt and Haley. I was reminded of what God was doing within Matt either for, or not for, our ministry here at St. Mark’s. I was also reminded that the leap of faith is even more difficult for the wife! The husband feels the Call from God, but the wife trusts the call in her hus-band, and that is an even greater act of faith.
Here is what I can tell you in terms of the big picture of the Call process. There is no looking back. God does not make mistakes and when something happens it happens for a reason. It doesn’t mean that we completely understand it or even like it, but we do trust it. We trust that any Call that happens, or doesn’t happen, is still God working all things for His good according to those who love Him. There is one thing Matt said that I would like to share with all of you, as you play a part in making it so. Matt said, “Something special is going on at St. Mark’s!” I am actually reading his text as I type it. I agree with Matt, and I am thankful to God for the blessings He continues to share within this ministry we call St Mark’s Lutheran Church.