A Message from Pastor Annemarie — Getting to Know You

How wonderful it is to be part of Esperanza Lutheran Church! I’m so glad to be here with you as we follow Jesus on the road together. We often think of this season of Lent that we’re in as a journey—a journey to the Cross, a journey deeper in discipleship, a journey into greater love for our neighbor.

I’ve often wondered what it was like to walk with Jesus on the road back in those days. What I mean is, the Gospels are chock-full mentions of Jesus journeying with his disciples from one town to the next, one region to another, but the stories are more about what happens when they get to the town or about an event that happens while on the road. We hear less about what happened between those events, when they were simply walking along day after day with nothing out of the ordinary happening.

Today a journey from one town to the next usually involves people splitting up into separate cars and, with ear buds in, listening to separate pieces of entertainment. Back in those days with Jesus a journey meant walking, one foot after another, in company with your fellow travelers, some you’d know well, some less so.

I’ve often wondered what those ordinary travel days were like. What did they talk about? I don’t imagine that Jesus spent every mile addressing all of the disciples en masse teaching and preaching. Surely, there were times they all just simply chatted—three or four disciples in the middle of the group here, a few pulling up the rear there. I imagine they got to know one another pretty well as they walked along.

As your new pastor, I’ve now joined you on this road with Jesus and I very much want to get to know you! So in April, we’ll kick-off a series of “Getting to Know You” Gatherings, casual small group get-togethers for me to get to know each of you, adults and kids alike, and for you to get to know me. Any other Star Trek fans out there? Opera buffs? Hiking afficionados? I wonder what we’ll end up chatting about. Let’s find out!

Some will be in-person, outdoor, socially distanced gatherings. Some will be Zoom calls. For those unable to do either, we’ll find alternate ways for me to connect. They’ll be offered at various days and times throughout a week. They’ll be not more than an hour in length.

Council members will be contacting all households in the congregation, inviting you to sign up (and helping you sign-up if need be). They are on a sign-up basis, not drop-in, in order to ensure that the size of each group stays small enough for us to get acquainted.

These won’t be “cottage meetings” where I gather information or survey the congregation. This is simply a time to make sure I have an opportunity to sit down with each and every one of you and spend some time getting acquainted.

Sign-up information will follow soon, so keep your eyes open and please sign-up! Let’s have a cup of coffee! I’m looking forward to Getting to Know You.

God’s peace and grace,

Pastor Annemarie
[email protected]