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Ever feel as if you have entered into an episode of Star Trek? Where God calls, you say yes, and all of a sudden it’s “Beam me up Scotty”. Then, when you have been beamed into this new journey instantly
Captain Kurt says “Warp speed ahead”. At first, all you can do is hold on for the ride, and then one day you realize either the world is slowing down or you are catching up.
The world of Trinity Lutheran Everett and I are beginning to come into sync. So, I want to take this time out to breathe and to let you know who I am, and what a “Respite Pastor” is.
My husband, Chris, and I live in Edmonds, and our child consists of one Grey Cockatiel named Precious who happens to be a perpetual toddler and a mama’s boy. Chris works for Snohomish County and will not be able to worship with us due to his work schedule. On December 3rd we will begin our 14th year of marriage. As for me, I was born in Massachusetts and raised in Everett. I graduated from Mariner High School, received my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Seattle University and my Master’s Degree from the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. I am a trained Interim Pastor, and on my 5th year of ordination.
So, what is a respite Pastor? A Respite Pastor steps into a congregation to assist it with its existing plans for the future, and to help it continue to move forward towards its mission statement while the settled pastor takes time to keep him/herself healthy. In the next month or two Trinity will continue with all its plans for the Advent & the Christmas season. We will also be looking ahead and preparing for Lent. Trinity is not in the interim process, and I will not be functioning as an Interim Pastor.
I am honored and blessed to be able to assist Trinity and Pastor Carson during this time as we await the celebration of the coming of our Lord’s birth, and the return of Pastor Carson.
I have been asked: what do we call you? I answer to Pastor Diana, Pastor Bottin (Bow Teen),
or Pastor B, whichever is more comfortable for you. Please feel free to stop in the office to ask questions. My door is always open.
Your Sister in Christ
Respite Pastor Diana Bottin
The Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran church in America has elected Pastor Kirby Unti from Saint Matthew’s Lutheran in Renton as our new Bishop. Our prayers will be with him as he, his family and the people of Saint Matthew’s prepare for the changes in their lives. Our prayers are also with our outgoing Bishop, Pastor Chris Boerger and his family as he prepares to accept a new call. We give thanks for both of these fine people for their gifts of leadership in the church and we give thanks for all of the 16 pastors who allowed their names to be considered for the call of Bishop.
Closer to home we at Trinity Lutheran Church are thanking retired Associate in Ministry Clara Griffin for sharing her gifts of music and leadership with us. She has faithfully shared her beautiful soprano voice, her gift of choosing just the right music for the choir and bells, her warm welcome and patience with every member of the choir and bells, and her gifts of collaboration with a number of colleagues in ministry. Our worship has been blessed by her in so many ways. Clara will also no longer be visiting those who are unable to attend church. We thank her for her caring, loving presence with many.
Leadership in life and in the church is a gift of the Holy Spirit and a call from God. Most of the ways we serve in the church have a component of leadership attached to them, encouraging others to join us in an endeavor to serve. One of my favorite sayings is that God doesn’t call those who are equipped but that God equips those who are called. This means to me that we can be brave and courageous when we take on a new or unfamiliar task of leadership because God will support us and empower us.
We have many, many leaders here at Trinity. Some of them have been elected to serve on Church Council, but many others have just seen a need and stepped up to fill that need in the best way possible. A great example of that is the Trinity Give Away III happening on August 3 this year. Jennie Fenrich saw a need and mobilized people to answer that need as she bravely made a touching and inspiring announcement that led us to clean out our cupboards and closets! Thanks Jennie!
Thank you to those who lead and to those who follow the leaders offering support and encouragement every step of the way. I invite you to keep your eyes out for ways that together we can serve God and our neighbors. Your ideas and your passions are part of what makes Trinity such a fun place to come together.
Leading and following with you,
Last month I wrote about the concept of “Sabbath rest” and invited you to be part of theAll-Church Summer Retreat in August. I wrote of Sabbath being a gift from God to us for the refreshment of our bodies and our souls. Vacation time, days off, coffee break, and even a brief walk at noon, can give us a sense of renewal and send us back to our work with a clearer head. Gathering with other followers of Jesus for worship also is a gift intended to refresh us and to give praise and thanks to God.
Sunday morning worship has been the practice of Trinity Lutheran Church since 1904. We, like Christians around the world, gather on Sunday morning in recognition of Jesus’ resurrection on the first Easter Day. In John’s Gospel, the disciples gather on the first day of the week but they gather in the evening. For early Christians, living in Jerusalem, keeping the Sabbath from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, (the seventh day) would have been the normal practice.
As the church moved from Jerusalem, into Judea, Samaria and the entire known world, worship practices began to change. The Apostle Paul always began his ministry in a new city by worshiping in the Jewish synagogue, moving into the homes of Gentile Christians later to share the Good News with all people. In honor of the resurrection Christian worship was held on Sunday not on the Sabbath day.
Last year while I was visiting friends in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, I had a taste of what it would be like to be the minority religious community. In Dubai, the days off were Friday and Saturday, with Sunday being the day that everyone went back to school or to work. Sunday morning in Dubai is a difficult time for worship and prayer. Being there made me think of how hard it can be to make it to church here, too.
Sunday morning is no longer set aside by our culture as a time for church. There are many alternatives to worship such as, work, sports, sleeping in, gardening, and family activities. I give thanks every Sunday for those who take time out of their busy weeks to refresh themselves and others by participating in worship. I also am thankful for parents who brought me to church on Sunday mornings. In worship I learned of God’s love for me and the world and I learned to love and serve my neighbors. In worship I experienced music, prayers, community, and peace.
When you can, come and share in the blessings of worship for your life,
Have you made your plans for some time of rest and relaxation this summer? Summer is the traditional time for activities that take place outside. Every person, no matter their age or abilities can benefit from time spent in nature, which was created for us by our loving God. Time spent hiking in the woods or sitting by a river gives us a chance to renew our souls and recharge our physical batteries.
This summer everyone is invited to participate in an All Church Retreat at a place that is designed to be welcoming and accessible to all. We gather under the theme, “What does the Lord require?” a question asked by the prophet Micah. Our relationship with God is of course God’s gift to us through grace, but Micah challenges us to grow in discipleship. We will learn more about justice and kindness and we will talk about what it means to walk humbly with our God. Deaconess April Boyden from Bellingham will be our retreat leader.
One sign of being a person of God is to observe a time of “Sabbath.” The Sabbath was a gift from God to the people of Israel designed to allow them time to rest and refresh themselves, their servants and their animals. This summer’s retreat will provide a time of Sabbath for people of all ages. Imagine the rest a retreat provides, spending quality time with your church friends, not having to grocery shop or make meals, and the beauty and peace of the countryside. There will be times of worship, study and discussion but there will also be ample time to do those things you enjoy. Swimming, hiking, fishing, crafts, photography or just sitting still are just some of the options.
The Cascadian Center is just north of Mount Vernon and you may come for the entire retreat or for just a day. The details are on the front page of the newsletter, and I hope you will consider taking part in this retreat, even if you have never gone on a retreat before. Some scholarship money is available (please talk with me) and all rooms are accessible. Make plans now to spend time in nature, sing around a campfire and enjoy great friends!
Blessings of peace and joy,
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