I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those from both parishes who participated in all our Christmas Liturgies, those who regularly attend as members, those who just happen to drop in, and those who have come home for the holidays to visit us as well. It is great to see so many people gathered to celebrate our Lord’s birth! Christmas is such meaningful time of year when the “Prince of peace” is born. Jesus comes to bring God’s gift of peace, hope and reconciliation to all the world!
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all our choirs, liturgical ministers, and volunteer decorators who helped make our services so beautiful. Everyone did a wonderful job! Special thanks to those who responded so well to my Christmas letter and gave so generously to our Christmas Collection. Your kindness and willingness to contribute financially to support both our parish communities truly demonstrates Christ’s love! We depend on these kinds of special collections to help make our yearly budget. If you have not yet contributed, it’s never too late for us!
Finally, special thanks also to those of you who either sent me a Christmas Card, Gifts certificates, or other well-wishes this Holiday Season. Since I do not have the time needed to write a card of thanks to each person individually, I would like to say here, “Thanks!” Thanks, for your generosity and wonderful support. Everyone continues to be very supportive of me as your pastor and I continue to feel very welcomed. For my part, I will continue to try to do my best. “May all of you have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas Season!” May you also have a Happy, Healthy New Year! Peace in Christ who is born for us!
On a more sobering note, by now most of you know Deacon Dave Lindmeier will be leaving our twinned parish community and moving permanently up to Duluth to be closer to family. He will be officially leaving us on January 1st, . This said, Deacon Dave will be returning on occasion to tie up some loose ends.
Over the years, Deacon Dave has been a tremendous gift not only to our twinned parishes but also to our St. Cloud Diocese as he held other important positions. There is no doubt his gifts and talents will be missed. For myself, I will not only be losing a very helpful co-worker but also a close friend. I will miss the jokes and bantering and theological conversations over dinner that we have had.
Moving forward, I have met and spoken to Deacon Chris Gunner and Deacon Bill Ritchie whom I have asked to step up and assume some of Deacon Dave’s work and position. In the future, I may have to consider other avenues to help me serve the sacramental and pastoral needs of both our parishes as well. Time will tell. Meanwhile, our prayers will be with Deacon Dave as he embarks on his new adventure, and I am confident that where ever he goes, his abilities will be well appreciated and well respected. Peace and blessings to you Dave! Thank you for all you have done! Your pastor and friend,