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Dear Faithful People of Christ the King Lutheran Church,

Since this is my final KING’S BANNER article as interim senior pastor and I’ve already written about you, who are the Ministers …. the people of Christ the King Lutheran Church, I want to write about those I’ve had the honor and privilege to work most closely with over these last two years, the staff, or those I prefer to call the Ministry Team of Christ the King Lutheran Church.

I emphasize the word “team” because that is the way the compensated staff works. I call what all of them do “ministry” because each one of them works to serve God’s people in the wider Church and world as well as in our congregation and give praise to God through Jesus Christ, depending daily on the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to live (24/7) their ministry and not simply “clock in” for a 5-day-a-week, 8 hour day. These are among the absolute best people of faith I’ve ever worked with and are also the best teammates any minister, “rostered” (ELCA jargon) or otherwise, could have.

In relation to the above paragraph, I want to speak to a criticism I’ve heard, namely that “the church office is closed on Monday.” That critique implies that Monday, for every staff member, is a “day-off.” I want you to know three things about this:

  1. We all know that, even on “days-off,” we can, in time of pressing need, reach and be served by every member of the staff, including the “un-rostered” folks.
  2. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve also all learned that a great deal of “office work” can be done – often more efficiently – from home.
  3. While both 1 and 2 are demonstrably true among us, we also know that everyone deserves a break. We’ve known that since “God rested on the seventh day” (Genesis 2:2-Sabbath, like its cousin, sabbatical, are both about needed rest and re-creation.

Enough said, I think, on that.

One of the joyful passions I share with Pastor Hope-Tringali is a deep appreciation for collaboration. On every core ministry (worship, faith formation, pastoral care, communication, justice, service and care), the best decisions are always those made collaboratively. Collaborative decision-making naturally strives toward excellence; it always strives to leave no one out.

When I arrived here exactly two years ago, that collaborative excellence was clear and evident. Thanks to all who worked to ensure that that kind of team was in place. As this interim concludes, I am sure that every member of our current ministry team is indeed fully committed, exquisitely collaborative ministers; and that they, and our elected leadership, will continue to strive for those qualities as new team members are called, chosen, and engaged.

There are, of course, other members of Christ the King Church’s ministry team: members of our congregation council; finance committee; Foundation and Bach Society boards; increasingly effective new (or revitalized) committees, teams, and task forces; ushers, bell ringers, gardeners, acolytes, servers, crucifers, thurifers, digital (visual and audio) volunteers; choir (and soon again, chorus) members; instrumentalists; food ministers, caregivers, LEMs, Community of Hope chaplains; Godly Play teachers; Confirmation instruction leaders; members of the altar guild (!); AAMPARO members; FREE WHEELS and Food Bank volunteers; our members who serve on ecumenical and community boards and committees; quiet enablers of, and noisy prodders for, justice, creation care, and human rights -- the list goes on and on. Ultimately, we, ministers of Christ the King Church, working and collaborating with the members of our staff ministry team, have one goal – I’ve preached often: that God’s kin-dom be experienced now, on earth as it is in heaven.”

It's been a great privilege to serve as a pastoral leader among you. It’s even better to know that Carole and I are privileged to continue to serve among you as Ministers …. the people of Christ the King Lutheran Church. 

Peace and Joy --- and Courage,

Amandus J. Derr
Interim Senior Pastor