By Scott Giger
Word spreads quickly. That means most of you reading this have already heard. For those that haven’t – I am accepting the Call to serve Carmel Lutheran Church. I am excited about the opportunity to serve the Lord and his Church in that community as they begin stretching into multi-site ministry.
The process of arriving at this decision was arduous but through it all, Kate and I feel like we have been led by the Holy Spirit. There have been many things for which I sought clarity from the Lord. He has faithfully pointed the way. I want to share a couple of those with you.
First, I wanted to know that the challenge in front of me at Carmel Lutheran Church was Godly and one for which I am prepared to sacrifice. I believe that God’s kingdom always advances through sacrifice in this world. We have known of this here at St. Luke. We are always called to acts which require dependence on God – vision that does not require the intervention of God is not of God.
Carmel Lutheran is expanding to a neighboring community. The calling that they feel to minister in that community comes out of a desire to be faithful in reaching out to the “lost” and strengthening the “found.” They are actively seeking ways to impact the entire Indianapolis region with the gospel. That is certainly a challenge worth sacrifice!
Second, I wanted to know that it was the right challenge for me. I know that God has made me a “builder.” I prefer to start new things. I am not satisfied with fine tuning existing things. While there will always be a new school year, and new challenges at the Chapel, the Call to help start new ministries seems to fit right into the traits that God has given me.
Then we get to the third thing. Is it an appropriate time to leave ULC/St. Luke? I have never had a confident affirmation from the Lord on any previous Call that I have received. When I had a Call to Topsfield, MA, it fulfilled both of the above criteria to a “T.” (It involved ministering to my native state!) I was assured that God was not releasing me from the Call to ULC/St. Luke. This time has been different.
As I pray, I see faces. I believe that those are answers from God to my prayers. I see faces
like Victor – with his myriad talents and love for the ministry of ULC, who cobbles together a music team each week from available people and makes them sound like they have been playing together for a season, who is my partner in ministry, dreaming, planning, laughing, witnessing;
like Pam – who does a great job managing the business/ministry of the Common Cup with all of its quirks (replace half a staff every semester anyone?) and is an indispensable part of the team;
like Sara – who makes the most of her limited time with a heart for her alma mater and a love for the hurting;
like Kent and Kellie Felgner – who open their home to anyone who needs a meal or an oil change or a listening ear or a prayer;
like Eliana Felgner – who loves and cares for the children of the Chapel like a wonderful big sister;
like Sam Fink, Phil Armbruster, Ron Zernicke, and James Piazza who see to some of the details that I overlook and care deeply for those worshipping at ULC;
like Sean Lindblade – who’s willingness and capacity have landed him in the middle of some of the most important projects at St. Luke Lutheran Church of the last three years;
like Paul Dickerson – who is willing to be president of St. Luke Lutheran Church in his “spare” time and still offers to care for me (and others) through a kind word and a prayer;
like Brian Margosian – who is willing to serve as student Chapel President while pursuing his degree in computer engineering; faces…answers to prayer.
The writer to the Hebrews (11:32) said, “I don’t have time to tell about…” when acknowledging the heroes who lived by faith. I get that sentiment. I don’t have time to tell about Michelle Armbruster, Jared Gruber, Justin Gruber, Pastor Ted, Ray and Sue Kelly, Tom and Linda Conzelmann, Camden Felgner, Larry and Nancy Frank, Duane and Katie Renken, Winslow Fox, Nancy Valine, Jeff Gibbs, Rob Gray, Paul Kizer, John and Erin Wall, Elizabeth Krieger, Jan McMorris, Todd Baker, Will Canon, Elizabeth Jahn…and many more. (Naming names is always dangerous because someone will be slighted – there is no intention of that here. Even the writer to the Hebrews omitted the likes of Esther, Joshua, Isaiah and Jeremiah!)
These are answers to the prayer that I have prayed. I love these people as brothers and sisters in Jesus. I know that they are and will lead forward. The Chapel is in a great place. God has blessed it through these people. There is a capable, strong group of people who will not let the ministry droop, let alone fall! I will admit that I have a hard time imagining daily ministry and life without some of you. That’s what makes this so hard.
Finally, I know that St. Luke Lutheran Church is in a safe place. The journey here for the last six and a half years (and more for some of you!) has not been easy. After a lot of struggles and challenges, we are stable. Pr. Justin Rossow is in place and has gained traction at SLAA. Pr. Dan Flynn continues to lead Living Water. There will be some staff additions that will create an opportunity to forge a new team to continue the mission. I could share of the “faces” of the rest of the church as well – but you know who those people are at your sites! As ULC is not fragile, neither is St. Luke Lutheran Church.
There is much more that I could write – but I will stop. I will suffice it to say that I leave all things in the hands of those gathered by the Lord of the Church. Ask Jesus how he would have you serve. Know that I hold you all in my heart.
I remember a phrase my sister once shared with me, “We always knew we would look back on the rough times and laugh, but who knew that we would look back on the great times and cry?” I praise God for the times that we have shared. May God’s peace rest on God’s people. I remain