These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving.” (Psalms 42:4)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As I come to the first anniversary of becoming your pastor, I am filled with deep gratitude — to the Lord, and to all of you — for giving me this tremendous privilege. What a wondrful year it has been! Thank you: for this call, for your friendship, and for your prayers.
When I wrote my report for our Annual Meeting last month I said, “One of the biggest surprises was that we would find ourselves looking for two key staff members so early in my time here: a music director and a pastor for young families.” Now, both positions have been filled, and we are so pleased to have Kevin Paxton on board fulltime, and we welcome Pastor Jordan Medas as he begins his new responsibilities.
We also extend a welcome to Tricia Padgett as our new office assistant, to work alongside Chris Wagoner and Missy Liebold. Missy, our principal receptionist (helped by a group of wonderful volunteers), is relocating to our renovated library, to better facilitate the flow of people and ministry in our increasingly busy building.
(We are encouraging people to us the “front” door during the week, and stop by the reception area when you come to see us.)
I shared with the staff that one of my favorite movies is the 1959 version of Ben Hur, and in particular the scene when Judah is returning home from the galleys after being “adopted” by Quintus Arrius. He stops at an oasis in the desert, and meets the sheik who is training his four white stallions to race in the arena in Jerusalem. Judah watches for a few moments, then tells Balthasar, “They will never hold the turn.” They don’t.
The sheik asks Judah how he could now that in advance, and he replies, “They are magificent animals, but they are not a team. Put the slow one on the inside where he can hold the turn.” He does so, and they win the race.
I believe God has given us a remarkable staff here at The Lake of the Woods Church, and we are working very hard to become the team he wants us to be.
If you have a question, a concern, a criticism, or a suggestion … please do share it! I believe 2017 is going to be a great year.
Love to you in our Lord,
John W. Howe