Below is a letter which was sent out to our congregation from our new pastor Tim about our upcoming call.
We have an announcement to share from Rev. Nate Stratman. After more than a year of searching and seeking wise counsel, Nate has heard a call from the Lord to finish his time at First Pres and move to Wilmington, North Carolina, where he will be a church planting pastor for Hope Community (an ECO church plant). Nate presented his letter of resignation to the Session on Sunday afternoon. Here are a few excerpts from his meaningful letter:
“Kim and I are full of excitement, sadness, nerves and deep trust in Jesus. We fell in love with First Pres because we found a church that loves God’s Word, is joyful in worship and serious about her mission to serve locally and beyond. There were mentors like Jim Singleton, Cliff Anderson and Jennifer Holz, who deeply shaped my faith and leadership. Our oldest daughter Ruthie was nine months old when we moved to Colorado Springs and Ellie was born and baptized in this beloved community. You financially supported me in my long journey through Seminary. This church celebrated my ordination in a profound way. With tears of gratitude welling up as I write this, I want to tell you how much this church family has shaped us.
As a growing pastor, this congregation has celebrated my gifts and smiled at my quirks. You have allowed me to preach God’s Word, baptize your children, serve you the bread and the cup and shepherd the children and youth of our church family. I have not taken one of these tasks lightly as serving you has been a deep privilege. You have shown the four of us the love and kindness of Jesus and you have delighted in us each step of our journey here in Colorado Springs.”
We are all touched by sadness to see the Stratmans leaving us, but we can also be very proud. A healthy church is a sending church, and the Lord has used First Pres to shape and send out a pastor ready to serve in new and powerful ways. Wilmington has no idea what is coming its way! With his skills and experience, Rev. Stratman could have easily slipped into any number of established pulpits with secure pay and benefits, but Nate and Kim both felt strongly led by the Lord into the greater risk of planting a new church. Please be praying for them and for Hope Community.
Nate will join me at each worship service on Sunday to say a few words to the congregation. His last day with us is August 1, 2016. Between now and then there will be many opportunities to celebrate the Stratmans and show support for their next adventure with Jesus. I hope you will jump to celebrate and support!