Calvary Lutheran Church Via Email
Dear Pastors and friends at Calvary Lutheran Church,
I hope this letter finds you well. I apologize updates have been less frequent this year, but as you can imagine vicarage is keeping my quite busy. Serving at Our Savior Lutheran Church in St. Charles is an absolute joy, and the year of service is flying by. I’ll say more about that later, but first an update on the rest of the family.
Nathan senior year of high school is passing quickly and he’s beginning to turn his attention to the transition to college. He plans to head back “home” to attend Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. The two universities have a joint campus in downtown Indianapolis very near to where we lived before moving to attend seminary. He plans to study motorsports engineering. Racing is still his first passion. He’s put in countless hours painting a new livery onto his kart’s bodywork for this season, which will kick off in a few weeks. He’s recently started detailing cars on the side as a way to make a little extra money. As the weather turns warmer, he’ll resume his job at the karting facility in Madison, Illinois. Need-less to say, he keeps very busy. But when he has a spare moment he's usually with friends from the seminary. I’m not ready for him to leave home, but I couldn’t be prouder of him.
Faith is winding down her time at Christ Community Lutheran School. She’s been having some health struggles with recurring abdominal pain. She’s undergone a number of tests and procedures at the children’s hospital with more yet to come. Although it’s reassuring to rule out more serious possibilities, knowing what it isn’t doesn’t help her to feel any better physically. So, we’d be thankful for your prayers for her that the doctors might find a way to somehow relieve her symptoms. When she feels up to it, she is active in a youth theater company in the city. She performed in “Elf: The Musical” in December and is currently in rehearsals for “Footloose.” She works hard in rehearsals, and she’s made some good friends—which is never easy during the middle school years.
Much of Jill’s focus these days is on being a support to Faith. From carpools to doctor appointments to homework coach, she helps Faith get where she needs to be and stay on track. While Jill staying home and not working outside the home has its own challenges, we didn’t want to look back and say that we hadn’t done everything we could for Faith. Jill does do some freelance web design for clients when an opportunity arises. That type of work is perfect for the variability of her schedule plus she’s very good at it. When she has free time, you’ll normally find her working huge jigsaw puzzles in the family room.
And then there’s me. I can’t overstate how much the vicarage experience has impacted me. Coming out the first two years at the seminary, I was really struggling with confidence and questioned whether I was really called to this. While I still wrestle with this on some level, God has been gracious and has allowed me to see that, yes, I can actually do this—no matter how uncertain and unworthy I might be. Since September, I’ve been preaching half of the services. If you’re interested in checking out any of our worship services or any of the sermons I’ve preached, you can find them at https://www.youtube.com/@oslcecc or watch the livestream at https://www.oslcecc.org/live. I probably spend too much time on sermon prep and that results in me working too much because I’m never satisfied. I’m work-ing on trying to cut that back without sacrificing content. It’s important that I improve in that to allow me more time for visitation and other tasks that a pastor needs to attend to. It’s very different from my prior career where it was easier to tell when tangible milestones had been met. As a vicar, there’s always more study that can be done, more rewriting, more vis-its/calls, etc. So, it can be hard to know when to call it a day. I’m also teaching the midweek adult Bible class. So far we’ve worked our way through James, Ezra, Esther, Nehemiah, and now we’re in Philippians. I love sharing my passion for Scripture with this group. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I get paid to study the Bible and our Confessions. The people at Our Savior are so kind and encouraging. I never expected how attached I would get to them; it’s going to be very difficult to leave. What a blessing they’ve been to me!
Thank you for your faithful support of Concordia Seminary and my family. I wish that I could meet each of you in person, hear your stories, and thank you for everything you’ve done for my family. Know that you are in my prayers regularly. God’s richest blessings during the holy season of repentance and reflection.
Concordia Seminary, Class of 2024