Connected by an Invisible String
Sisters and Brothers,
As I reflect on the last three and a half years that I have spent with you, I am so incredibly grateful.
St. John’s and Salisbury will always hold a special place in my heart because of each and every one of you. I feel like I have said this to a number of people. Still, congregations/youth groups/any other group in the church are not great because of the leader (although good leadership helps). They are great because of the people and the hospitality and love. You are a great congregation because of your heart and passion for bringing God’s kingdom here. Even with a dynamic staff, you help make this place a light for the community and a safe place to rest in the love of God.
When I was in seminary, I could have never guessed God would lead me to Minnesota and North Dakota, but I am so glad God eventually led me to St. John’s. I think back on all the memories that I will take with me: Women’s Bible Study, time at the CDC, youth trips, weddings and funerals, chapel at the Kindergarten, Youth Sundays, baptisms and confirmation, weekend retreats, Holy Week and the beautiful exhaustion, Women’s Christmas party, VBS, the youth championship basketball games, First Communion, lunch/coffee/ice cream meetings, youth groups, Hands and Feet camp, Lutheridge and the congregational retreat, Christmas Eve services, staff retreats and fun days, and the list could go on and on. I really cannot say how much you have meant to my family and me.
After my mom died, I got a book for Eliana and Everett called “The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst. Two little kids get scared one night during a thunderstorm. They run out to their mother, who tells them about the invisible string that we carry within our hearts that connects us to each other. When you share a special connection with someone, a string is created. This string can go anywhere, deep in the ocean or far away in outer space… even to heaven. We now talk about invisible strings a lot in our family. When we feel scared, alone, or when we are missing someone too much, we are reminded of our invisible string. That is what the body of Christ is like in the world, a bunch of people connected together by an invisible string, the love of Jesus Christ. No matter how far away we are, there is always a part of St. John’s and each of you that will be connected to me through an invisible string. Our God is a God of deep, meaningful relationships. Our God is a God of invisible strings tying us together as sisters and brothers now and forever.
My favorite verse of all time speaks to this invisible string.
“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” Romans 8:38-39 (The Message)
I love you!