Archives for August 2017

A Brief Statement

We move the day after tomorrow.  My allergies are being as wacky as my emotions, must be all the dust we are kicking up while we sort through eight and a half years of accumulated stuff.  I know I promised an update soon, but I’m not really sure what to say right now.  My brain is about as foggy and dazed as ever, and I know that I have some readers who are really close to our current situation and some who aren’t at all; it’s difficult to balance tender issues and a broad audience.  So perhaps I should speak just briefly to both groups.

First, to those of you who are distanced from our “in person” life, who aren’t part of our congregation or fellow LCMS pastors families, and who are truly on the outside looking in…

You all have been so kind and encouraging.  It was certainly uplifting to receive your words in the midst of such a tumultuous time and while very painful and difficult decisions were being made.  At the same time, I also worried how others who are closer to us felt reading such overwhelming positivity about a decision that has undoubtedly been hurtful to them.

As much as we cherish your love and support,  I would ask that right now, if you feel led to pray or encourage anyone, you would send those thoughts and prayers to our beloved congregation and those who have been negatively affected by our need to leave the ministry.  Our family is in a crazy whirlwind of chaos in pretty much every area of our lives right now.  But we have also had time to prepare ourselves for the added burden we would be taking on.  Those we are leaving haven’t had any time to process what’s happening, and they are much more in need of your love and prayers right now.

We aren’t leaving because of anything that anyone here has done.  We love our congregation dearly (and those of you who have been reading for any length of time know that I just don’t say things.  We really do feel that way.)  I have lived in this parsonage now longer than I have lived anywhere else, and I have become more attached to this church family than any other I’ve been a part of.  This group of people is the only congregation Jake has ever been a spiritual father to, and that’s a bond not easily broken.

This congregation is amazing; they’re good people, and they take care of their pastors better than most churches care to do.  They don’t deserve to be left in the lurch like this, and if it were just based on those factors, there’s no way we could possibly leave them.  Please remember them in your prayers and think of them when you leave us public comments about our departure.  It’s not that we are ungrateful for your support, but I just ask that you keep everyone’s feelings in mind during what is a painful transition for everyone involved.

To those of you who are closer in proximity to us and our situation here, please know that we have been praying and crying over this resignation for months.  Not for ourselves, but because we knew we were about to do something that was going to hurt the people we loved.  We looked for so long for a way to resolve our inner struggle that didn’t bring others pain or grief.  And after a long time of praying and seeking counsel from those who were older and wiser and had more experience, it became obvious that we had no other options available.

I know that some of you were offended by my last post.  For that I am sorry, but like everything else in the midst of this resignation, I tried to write that post in the best possible way, and there simply is no getting around the hard parts.  We meticulously thought out every step of this resignation to ease the burden on our congregation and those around us, and despite our best efforts there are still quite a few who believe we didn’t do it the right or best way.  It is probably impossible to leave in a way that’s right for everyone.

And to all those who feel that way, you are quite correct.  We didn’t.  We could have done better.  But please know that any extra grief or distress that was unnecessarily caused we are deeply sorry for, and in no way did we ever intend to create a greater hardship.  Nor were we negligent or self-serving.  We truly tried to make choices that would bring the greatest benefit and the least strain to everyone in our congregation.

All of you will be in our prayers, and know that there will be many more tears on our end as we grieve the loss of this relationship that is unique to a pastor’s family and their church.  We are not simply moving on with our lives and forgetting these last four years.  Being a pastor is much more than just a job, and the gravity of that reality is not lost on us.  This decision was not made lightly, rashly or flippantly.  You all mean more to us than you know.

Good-Bye Blog

I have been meaning to post for a while. I had an adorable video of Hope that I couldn’t figure out how to get off of my phone for some reason. And in the last few weeks things have simply become more intense. On Sunday Jake resigned from his call as a pastor at our church. Obviously, a lot has been going on behind the scenes in the last month. Probably most of which I won’t ever be posting publicly here.

His decision to resign is a difficult one, and it has been extremely painful for both of us as we walk through this process. He has to resign for doctrinal differences we have developed with the Lutheran Church. Throughout our formal education on the Lutheran confessions and practice we learned things about Lutheranism that raised questions. We’ve tried for many years to answer those questions and settle our doubts. But the questions were not resolved, instead more questions appeared and our discomfort with the LCMS’ doctrine and practice grew.

Many people have said to us that it doesn’t matter what denomination you are in, as long as you are a sincere Christian. And I agree with that in some ways; certainly you don’t have to belong to any particular denomination to receive God’s gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation. However, some churches do have a fuller understanding of these gifts and of the Gospel than others. And when you are teaching and preaching the faith, as Jake was, Scripture clearly tells us that you will be held to a higher standard. It is wrong to go on teaching publicly something that you have found to not be consistent with God’s Word.

And so for these reasons, we do need to go. I’m not sure yet what I will do about my little blog here. I don’t think I can go on being the Crunchy Lutheran Mommy, so we will likely be saying good-bye to this blog. But no worries, I have no plans to stop blogging! I have talked to Jake about getting a family blog put together where I can continue going on about my typical things and perhaps he can start writing about his journey and thoughts as well.

We will be moving out of state next week, and we certainly want to stay in touch. Both with our far away friends, and our friends who have been our local family for the last four years. I do hope everyone knows how dear they are to us and how much we will miss them. Thank you all for your continuing prayers for our family, we are very much in need of them right now.  And please also pray for the amazing people in this congregation that we are leaving behind.  Will post more soon.

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