Thanking God for You!

"I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:3-6)

My family and I definitely thank God for our "Trinity family."  As most of you know I have accepted a call to serve as pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bremerton, WA.  The month of July will be my final month at Trinity, and my final Sunday will be Sunday, August 6.  We will miss you and we will take many good memories with us as we go.  I feel that in many ways I am being "sent out” from Trinity to serve this church that is need of a pastor who will lead them into a new era of ministry and evangelism.  I believe that the experience I have gained at Trinity will be very useful in helping guide this church into effective ministry and mission in the future.  Here are a few of the things that bring me hope as I anticipate this new ministry in Washington:

1) Transformation and renewal: This church is in an area that has undergone a transformation, in some ways similar to the Hawthorne area.  The church began its ministry in 1945, and the community has obviously changed in many ways since that date.  One interesting note about this church is that my father actually served there early in his ministry as an associate pastor.  I spent three years of my life at Emmanuel during my grade school years!  Since that time, as the area has changed, more and more young families have moved into the area and the community is becoming more and more diverse ethnically.  There is a lot of hope for reaching out into this community with the love of Jesus Christ!

2) Children: hope for the future!  One of the clear signs of hope for the church and community is the preschool and daycare center that the church offers.  The school brings children and parents to the church and will be a natural point of outreach for the church.  I have seen how Trinity has been a blessing to the community through the school outreach, and this gives me even more of a reason to have hope for ministry to thrive!

3) Family and friends: As many of you know, my parents live in Washington, and although they will not be really close (still a 2 1/2 hour drive away) they will be a wonderful source of support for me and my family My sisters and their families are also somewhat nearby, and Sarah's brother lives in the same city.  A pastor in the same city that I will work closely with (Rev. John Bergren) has been a friend of my family for many years, and my godparents (Rev. George and Norma Larson) also live nearby, and I may be working together in ministry with him as well.  These close acquaintances are yet another reason for hope!

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" (Isaiah 43:19)

I believe that God can and will do "new thing" in Bremerton as well as in Hawthorne as a new pastor is called to Trinity in the near future.  Who knows what great things God has in store for us?  Again, I am thankful for all of you and for our partnership in the gospel during these four years.  May the Lord Jesus Christ continue to be our focus and may He remain at the center of all that we do.

Together in Jesus' love,

Pastor John Foss

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).