Greetings from now Pastor Dan, your new called AND ordained Associate Pastor for Outreach!
I want to take a moment to thank you all for being the church, calling me to serve the community of St. Johns, and affirming my call to Word and Sacrament ministry. During my ordination service I was struck by what a journey it has been to be your pastor. The people, places, and opportunities along the way shaped the way I see God in the world, because they were God in the world. I feel blessed to have God’s love in my life through the community of support that was all in one place for one day. The Holy Spirit is at work!
This does beg the question, what is outreach anyway? To me, outreach begins with knowing who we as a congregation are and whose we are. We are God’s children who understand we receive the grace of God through Christ through our faith, and not our actions. This is good news to share! We are called to share this good news, not only to invite others to worship, but also through our everyday lives in response to God’s abundant grace. This is outreach: to live out the good news of Christ so that our neighbor may experience love here and now, and that we build genuine relationships while sharing God’s love.
I have been encouraged throughout my first weeks at St. Johns to see that we as a congregation are busy feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and even washing our neighbor’s feet. I was blessed to be a part of our shower ministry, witnessing Christ as work through each person who came for a shower, and each of you who offered time and energy to make sure our neighbor received one with clean clothes and cup of hot coffee.
The leaders on the Welcome and Outreach Committee are in the process of planning a W&O Summit to examine the mission of the committee, cast a new vision forward, and set strategic goals to both serve and know our neighbors. I feel called to help shape and enact this vision so we may live out our servant leadership role as neighbor AND form deep relationships with God and with our neighbors.
Thank you for calling me as your Associate Pastor. I look forward to our ministry together as we both welcome the stranger and outreach to the lost sheep. May God’s love fill your heart with peace today & always.
Rev. Dan Potaznick
Associate Pastor for Outreach
St. John’s Lutheran Church