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July 7, 2023

Beloved Members of Christ the King Lutheran Church:

With joy and thanksgiving, I am privileged to announce that the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Hope-Tringali will assume the responsibilities of senior pastor of our congregation on September 1, 2023. Pastor Hope-Tringali is the first senior pastor called to serve our merged congregation. She will be installed on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. Thanks be to God!

On September 1, Pastor Beth Marie Halvorsen’s and my interim ministries will officially end. My last service presiding and preaching at our Rice Village Campus will be on Sunday, August 20. That liturgy will include formally releasing me from my service as interim senior pastor. Pastor Halvorsen’s last service will be on Sunday, August 27 at our West Campus. The 10:30 a.m. August 27 service at the West Campus will be our only service that day. All members will worship together to give thanks for the ministries of Pastor Beth Marie Halvorsen and Pastor Shelli Williams.

When members of our then separate congregations voted on September 12, 2021 to become one, we committed ourselves to a process that would begin with the adoption of a strategic plan; included a process designed to unite the administrative and financial ministries of our congregations; prepare and adopt new governing documents; and enter into a Call Process to choose a new senior pastor for our newly merged congregation. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have successfully accomplished all these tasks.

Now, after two years of intentional transition and with the conclusion of interim ministry, we will take the next step in our common ministry together as envisioned in the discussions leading to the merger vote and memorialized in the questions and responses that accompanied the merger decision. The August 27 10:30 a.m. service will conclude English-language Sunday morning worship at that campus.

As this anticipated change is not without pain, our congregation council has appointed a group of members from our Rice Village Campus – Terri Bourne, Gaelyn Lesher, Pastor David Roschke – to accompany the members of our congregation who have regularly worshiped at the West Campus to determine how best to meet worship, pastoral care, education, service, and fellowship needs. These companions will hold their first meeting with worshipers at the West Campus following the 10:30am service on Sunday, July 23, 2023, and share ideas as to how those needs might be met as we develop new ministries to maintain a Lutheran presence on that campus.

Transitions to new ministry and new pastoral service and leadership are always filled with joyful expectation tinged with sadness and a sense of loss as relationships with previous pastors, including interim pastors, change. In my “Interim Senior Pastor’s” column in our January 2023 King’s Banner, I described the mutual commitments congregation members and former pastors make to one another and which we will affirm together as these interim appointments formally conclude.

These next weeks will be filled with joyful anticipation and high expectations of what God will be doing with us and our new senior pastor and sadness and tears as relationships change. I believe the best way to navigate this is to continue to mold our life together on the model of this prayer from the late Dag Hammarskjöld.

For all that has been, thanks!
For all that will be, yes!

Peace and Joy – and Courage!

Amandus J. Derr
Interim Senior Pastor