Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First day officially serving in Port Orchard

I arrived in Port Orchard in a frenzy this morning. My wife and I patched together a plan for where our children go and by what mode of transport. This is my first full-time work in 2 years--the logistics of serving in a new congregation are always disjointed, yet exciting. But, I am also quite rusty in my thought processes. I have a lot of acclamation ahead of me.

My vocational days in the past few years have involved supporting my wife and daughters in their vocations. I served as a home economist and dabbled in child development,.while preaching regularly, sometimes not so regularly. I served two part-time ministries, one in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, and one in Lyman County, South Dakota. I hung on the conversations I had with my wife, reading, and prayer life. My spiritual director once told me that raising children as a stay-at-home-parent was a monastic sort of life, and having once observed a monastic community, I found some truth in the parent-as-monastic image. I feel mostly confident about what staying at home has done for our family life, and I look forward to watching my family grow and develop from my new base serving in Port Orchard.

I come to First Lutheran Community Church of Port Orchard with some solid, yet diverse experiences as an interim pastor, and I look forward to working with the lay leadership and what Pastor Allen established over many years of ministry. All congregations have unique personalities, but I believe FLCC has some lively approaches that are not common among congregations of the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA. I hope to discern faithfully with you to what God is calling this community of faith. I look forward to hearing the stories of God at work at FLCC and Port Orchard. Please feel free to use this blog as a place to leave comments or ideas in this ongoing conversation about serving through our daily lives in the name of Christ.

I give thanks for the opportunity to serve in this place--God is blessing our service together.


  1. What is God up to at FLCC and Port Orchard?

    It is hard to know the plans of God ahead of time, but I know we can be assured that He has something wonderful instore for us and we need to trust and follow his lead.

    2. What are your hopes for this interim time?

    I hope we will take this time to reflect individually and collectively on our role in this community of believers and the broader community, clarify our identity as a body of believers, and increase our passion and vision for service in God's name. I also hope this will be a time to draw us closer to each other and closer to God.

    3. What are your feelings associated with the interim time?

    I have a peace about this time, while still experiencing grief and loss. I am curious to learn what God has in store for us and for Pastor Allen in his new ministry. God is at work and it will be exciting to be involved in the process as He reveals himself more clearly to us.

    4. What gifts are most present at FLCC?

    There are many gifts, but I recognize the gifts of faith, charity, love, and community.

    5. What are your concerns about FLCC?

    I really am not significantly concerned. Loss is a part of life and I have learned through personal loss that God always uses it for good. We will never be exactly the same, but then if we were, there would be no growth.

    Welcome Pastor Joe. I already like your techno savvy and personable postings in First Light and your blog. Ron and I are preparing to leave this week a few weeks vacation, but will be meeting you soon.

  2. Welcome pastor Joe, looking forward to getting to know you and your family, and we think your blog is a wonderful place to get to know you sooner and faster! If the Densmores can be of any assistance to you, please feel free to reach out as we are looking forward to your journey with us! See you in church!! Larry, Diane, and Harrison