New Chapters in His Story
A New Chapter for Jonathan Martin
Several weeks ago, my dear friend Jonathan Martin and I had a rich and sacred time together as he shared that it was time for him to transition from his role as pastor of Global & Local Outreach, and it was time for Janie and him to step into the next chapter of the Lord’s calling on their lives. Our moments together that morning were poignant and powerful; we love Christ and each other deeply.
A New Chapter for Alan Hlavka
In the hours that followed, there began to well up in me a hunger and joy at the prospect of taking the baton from Jonathan and stepping into the leadership of Global & Local Outreach. Theda was in Africa at the time, but that evening and in the days that followed, she and I spoke often about this possibility.
“Theda, I feel a strong sense of calling and I have a tremendous excitement at the thought of getting to do this!” Her response, “I agree with you. I believe you’re made for this.”
As the topic came up with the leadership & elders in the following days, we all had a clear sense of the Lord’s confirmation and peace about this new chapter in my role at Good Shepherd.
So, with my new responsibility in Global and Local Outreach, combined with the Marriage and Family Ministry, it became quite clear that the Pastoral Care Ministry needed to find a new leader.
Pastoral Care is a profoundly important and a “loving-like-Jesus-loves” ministry at Good Shepherd. When Jesus saw those who were hurting and in need of comfort, it says of Him …He felt compassion for them… (Matt. 9:36). After the resurrection, Jesus turned to Peter and instructed him to Take care of my sheep. (John 21:16). It says of the Lord in Isaiah 40:11: Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
So, as we’re called to follow the Words, Works, and Ways of Jesus, it is a high privilege to be with people and love them at their point of need.
A New Chapter for Paul Norquist
The Lord has also provided and appointed a man to lead the Pastoral Care Ministry at Good Shepherd. Paul Norquist, a man thoroughly qualified in heart and life for this role.
As you know, Paul is a mature and compassionate man, who genuinely listens and gives himself away for Christ’s honor and the good of His people. The warmth, respect, and dignity that Paul exudes is a calming and hope-giving experience. All of us hold Paul in the highest esteem. He’s well-suited to step into this vital role of equipping and building our volunteer care teams and to minister the love and care of Jesus to us when we hurt.
Jonathan, Alan, and Paul are all welcoming their respective parts in these New Chapters in His Story.