By Scott Giger
Over the next two weeks, we will be affirming some key leaders for ULC. This election cycle, there are no new people running. (While we value those who are presently serving, we would always love to have new leaders engaged. Maybe that’s you! If you would like more information about how to serve, please send me an email.)
The elders that are currently serving have been a great support to me. I know that some of you have been blessed by them as well. If you would like to get to know them, feel free to contact them, or speak to them on a Sunday morning.
Additionally, Sean Lindblade deserves affirmation and encouragement as he is willing to continue as our site representative on the Spiritual Leadership Council. The SLC is our all-site governing board. Sean has served admirably, including being the author of the Transition Team Report, a member of the Call Committee that ultimately led to an accepted Call from Pastor Justin Rossow and as chair of the Stewardship Team. I am thankful to God for Sean’s diligence.
Join me in continued prayer for our mission and ministry. Together we minister to the university community with the love of Jesus Christ. These leaders help empower and encourage our ministry here – they are not the ministry, that is the work that Jesus has given to all of us. Ask the Lord how he would have you serve!
Below you can read more about the leaders we will be affirming over the next two Sundays. If you are a member, please make sure you sign in as you cast your vote.
Kent Felgner Returning Elder
Kent and his wife Kellie have three children: Camden, Eliana, and Adalie, ages 16-19. Kent has been a member of St. Luke for 40 years, contributing as Elder, Usher,Communion Assistant, Reader, Sunday School Teacher, Parent’s Night Out, and serving on various committees.
He relates his relationship with God in terms of devotional times and Bible study in the following way:
“My lifelong heritage in the church is foundational in creating daily prayer and scripture habits. As a family, we enjoy a daily devotion focused around Bible readings and short studies often from Portals of Prayer. At times during the day, I also frequently pray conversationally. It is a great comfort to turn to God in thanks and awe as well as in times of trouble and distress.
I gravitate to the Psalms when reading. I relate to the honest expressions and the wide ranging emotions and the desire to magnify God through it all. The midweek Bible study is also a tremendous blessing both for the fellowship and the unpacking of God’s word.”
In describing his gifts and areas of service he says:
“I seek to serve and share hospitality and mercy. I am also passionate about ensuring that those in the pastoral office, and their family, receive care and support.”
James Piazza Returning Elder
James and his wife Julie are parents to Landon, Graham, and Christian, ages 17-22. He has been a member of St. Luke since 1989, serving in many capacities from first grade sunday school teacher to elder.
In relating his relationship with God he says:
He is a “sinner, working with my walk daily.
In regard to his gifting and calling
He simply refers to his current role as elder.
Paul Dickerson Returning Elder
Paul and his wife Pamela have a 5 year old son, Jack, and a new baby in the works. Paul has been a member of St. Luke’s for 17 years and currently serves as the congregation’s president. In addition, he serves as a Reader, a Communion Assistant; Site Elder; Stewardship Committee; Vice-Chair, Elder Chair, and as an Assistant in various ULC functions and activities.
He tells of his relationship with God in the following way:
“It is difficult to describe my relationship with God in a few sentences. Mostly I approach Him as a wise and loving Father. This is done only through a position of humility and grace through Jesus. I believe that the Holy Spirit continues to sanctify me and I pray the fruit of the Spirit is produced in greater and greater abundance in my life.
In the last few years, I have had an increased appreciation for my role as a servant in God’s Kingdom and have tried to fill that role I have been given well. I believe if my relationship with God could be summed up in one word it would be faithfulness; His faithfulness to me and my attempts to be faithful in responding to His mercy and calling on my life.
One of my favorite metaphors that Jesus used for our relationship with Him is that of a vine and branches. Unless a branch is connected to the vine, it slowly withers and dies. I believe the actions listed above (daily prayer, study of scripture, etc.) are the chief ways that connection is maintained. These (and others) are the means by which we are able to learn more about God’s nature, the way in which He intervenes in our lives, have our will conformed to His and discern His will for us.
I believe most important in these is first daily and frequent prayer and second daily study of the scriptures. It is impossible to learn enough rules through study alone to know how God would have you act in all the situations that arise during a lifetime. This is why it is vital to have a constant, deep and personal relationship with Him so he may guide you through life’s challenges, always testing the instructions against His unchangeable Word.”
He describes his gifting and call as follows:
“I believe that God has first given me a desire to follow Him, learn more of Him and have a deep understanding of His will. While I am not always successful at living out this desire, I strive to be the man, husband, and father that God would have me be.
I believe that first and foremost and elder must lead by example. Therefore a strong desire to follow God and sincere, constant and visible effort to do so is vital.
Second, I believe that God has blessed me with a gift of wisdom. Friends and family often seek my advice on difficult situations and I believe that I am able to parse the various facets of the problem and help the individual see their circumstances more clearly. With fellow Christians, I am explicit in what I believe God would have them do (if I am privy to such information). With non-Christians, I do my best to lead them towards a godly decision and let the Holy Spirit take it from there.
Third, I have a passion for seeing all Christians, but particularly men, develop fully into the people that God wants them to be. Generally I believe God has called all of us to live as He does; with reckless abandon, abundant passion and unbridled love for His people. God displays a relentless fierceness throughout the Bible which often seems to be sorely absent in the Church. If Christian men were to truly demonstrate God’s love for his People with the strength and passion uniquely bestowed upon them as men by their Creator, I believe God’s Kingdom would be forcefully and swiftly advanced here on earth.
Finally, in examining the qualifications for elders (see I Tim. 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9) I do believe that I demonstrate most of those qualities most of the time, some of those qualities all of the time, but never all of those qualities all of the time. In short, I am an imperfect human. I rely on God’s provision and guidance in the qualities that I do display and rely on His grace to fill in the gaps.
Todd Baker SAT representative to the Spiritual Leadership Council
Todd is not married. He has been a member of St. Luke for 20 years, serving as Usher, offering counter, and communion assistant. In addition he has worked in outreach and service through campus Christian groups and ministry in the U of M dorms.
Todd speaks of his relationship with God saying:
“I believe that God is working in powerful ways among us today. The Lord has formed me and led me to where I am today with the help of some of the righteous men and women that I have known through St. Luke and the campus ministry that I have been involved with.
Christian community, such as what we have at St. Luke is a joy and a necessity for our walk with the Lord. Without my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ calling me on in my prayer life and understanding of scripture, my faith would not be as strong as it is today. I look forward to serving God more and giving my life to Him in whatever plan He has in store for me.
Regarding his gifts and calling he says:
“I have a strong passion for the Lord and seeing the Holy Spirit work more fully in people. Through my service and ministry in a campus Christian group, God has blessed me with the skill of challenging myself and other people to seek the Lord in more radical ways. I believe that God is moving in powerful ways at St. Luke and I hope to see the Holy Spirit change our life together.”
Sean Lindblade SAT representative to the Spiritual Leadership Council
Sean and his wife Kim are parents to Noah and Ava, ages 2 and a half and 5. They have been attending
St. Luke for 4 and a half years and have been members for 4. Sean has been serving St. Luke on the ULC SAT,
the Multi-site Transition Team, the Stewardship Committee, and on the Call Committee (Rossow).
In describing his relationship with God he shares:
“I continue to describe my relationship with God as being in the formative stages, yet having an exciting momentum and room for expansive growth. There are two reasons for that current state; ULC and my family.
I was raised Catholic by mother and ‘put in my time’ on Sundays. My wife grew up in much the same way. After we got married, we both felt a push to return to church. We didn’t know what we were looking for until we walked into a service one Sunday at ULC. We both felt instantly connected in a way that church never was for us. And after a few more visits, there was a real connection with God, the Word and the Gospel that had never been there for me (or my wife) before.
My desire to grow in the Word led me to Bible studies, participation on the Multi-Site Transition team, answering the call to be part of the call committee for the St. Luke Site Leader and to participate on the ULC SAT. It is among these peers, in this community of believers at St. Luke; that I have found a spiritual home and for the first time, truly understood the plan and the power of God.
And my family is the other reason. I mentioned my wife and I having the same push to return to church. Her growth has been different than mine; extending in other ways, but her support and our common growth have been an important interaction as we grow, learn, doubt, struggle, overcome and live on our new path.
And, of course, our kids…if you attend service with us, you know them – if not by name, by cacophony. But it is in seeing, or trying to see, the world through their eyes that my wife and both see God at work. Hearing their dinner ‘thank-you God for’…(typically Grandma, Papa and monster trucks for Noah) and nightly prayers (that Ava can now lead) is the best part of my day.
So I am a beginner; an eager student. I sometimes wish I led a different life to this point, one in which God played a greater role, but I am also learning to understand I wasn’t ready to hear God at that time. But, I’m thankful that I hear him now and I try to live in this present; to pray, to be thankful, to be better, to ask honestly for forgiveness and to participate when I am asked. Praise God!“
He relates his gifts and calling in this way:
“I am an administrator…a process guy; I fit with the people who fill in the gaps and holes to let the system work. I like to understand how and why organizations work; and to discover changes that can make them better.”