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Welcome Home

by Pastor Bahe
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Do you know what I miss? Wall calendars. Yep, I know I’m showing my age! The reason I miss having one, though, is the feeling I would get when opening a new calendar and flipping the page to a new year: JANUARY. That clean slate. That new beginning. You don’t get to experience that in the same way on a phone calendar.

New beginnings are all around us, even in the dead of winter. I am extraordinarily aware of new beginnings this particular January. On Sunday, December 4th, I was extended a new beginning by way of a congregational vote to call me as your Senior Pastor. On that day, I was deeply moved to see so many of you turn out to vote on whether or not to offer me that call. Although pastors officially have 30 days to decide to accept a call or not, by the next day, the Bishop had my decision to accept the call to serve as your Senior Pastor.

The road ahead is clear: Zion has an incredible history and foundation on which to build. Zion is a congregation alive with purpose, joy, and service. That is not by accident. That is a result of your solid foundation and your willingness to grow in faith and serve others in the name of Jesus. Building upon that foundation with you will be my honor. The road ahead is certain: God has been faithful to this congregation in the past, and God will continue to lead and guide us into the future.

What about the future? What will it look like? I’m confident that, as we share and live out our faith we will be sustained by God, moved by the Holy Spirit, and bound together by our baptism into Christ. This provides our focus and mission. As Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans: we will continue “with one purpose, to glorify the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

After the vote on that Sunday in December, one member looked me in the eye and said: “Welcome Home, Pastor.” That sums it up for me. I thank you for welcoming me into this home we call Zion. I thank you for extending the warm hand of partnership in the mission and ministry we now share in Jesus Christ. I am filled with hope as we focus on our mission to trust in Christ, live for Christ, and serve with Christ…together! I am grateful for this call and ask for your prayers as I serve in this new role.

My prayer for this new beginning is the same as is written in the book of Romans, that the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in God, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit—Romans 15:13.
I am thankful to God that I am here serving with you and I am thankful to you for your welcome–I am home!

Pastor Kari Bahe

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