It is with all of the excitement, surprise and sadness that profound change brings that I have been announcing over the past three days that I have accepted a call (church-talk for “job offer”) from Saint Luke Lutheran Church in Devon, PA to become their Pastor for Youth, Family, and Service. I will be working side-by-side with Pastor Susan Ericsson, which I consider to be a great blessing (and a lot of fun).
The sadness comes from leaving a community and a congregation that I love and that has been the source of friendship and joy over the past seven years. The following letter was mailed earlier this week to the members of Temple Lutheran Church and presented last night to the congregation council:
“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”
August 2, 2011
To the people of Temple Lutheran Church,
I am saddened to announce that the time has come to conclude my service as pastor of Temple Lutheran Church. On Sunday, July 31, I accepted a call to join the pastoral staff of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Devon, Pennsylvania.
The hardest thing about accepting this new call is concluding the ministry I have shared with you as Temple Lutheran Church. I am sad to leave; I have been forever shaped and blessed by our time together; it has been an honor and a joy to serve as your pastor. I will miss you.
I have been amazed at what God has done during the time that we have been partners in ministry. Just over seven years ago, it was clear that God was calling me to Havertown. Today, it is equally clear that God is now calling me to a new place. There is no other reason that I am leaving Temple Lutheran Church. I am sad to leave, but also very excited for this new call.
My tenure as pastor will conclude on Sunday, September 11, 2011. Until that date, I remain excited and committed to our ministry together as Temple Lutheran Church. I will be working with the congregation council and our synod staff to prepare for the change and transition ahead. You can expect to be kept informed in the weeks to come.
The future of Temple Lutheran Church remains in God’s capable hands as each of you are invited to participate in the good work that will continue to unfold as you do God’s work with your hands. You will always remain in my prayers and close to my heart. I am forever grateful to have been a part of your lives and the ministry we have shared. Thank you.
Pastor Matt Staniz
I thank God for Temple Lutheran Church and am confident in the faithfulness of the people there to continue the good work that I have had the privilege to be a part of these past years. I am also looking forward with wide-eyed excitement toward the ministry that I will become a part of at Saint Luke Lutheran Church. I ask everyone to pray for both of these congregations. Pray that they will experience a grace-filled faith that continuously sends them out into their lives and into the world to be people of faith, hope, compassion, and peace.
In this present moment of transition, please also pray for Monica, Amber and I as we lose many things and relationships that have been blessing to us. We will be moving soon to Paoli, PA and Amber will begin 4th grade in a new school. We are excited and happy, but also nervous, uncertain, and sad. Big change can do that!
I will begin at Saint Luke Lutheran Church on September 26th. I will share more news as it happens!