To the beloved of God at St. Peter,
This may be the last time I write those words to you, but I can assure you that it is not the last time I will think of you – the beloved of God at St. Peter. I give thanks to God for the past year in this place. I can hardly believe it has already come to an end.
Four years ago, you decided to take on a student each year to be your pastor, to encourage and nourish in the faith and to train in the ministry. I know that this hasn’t been the easiest thing you have ever done, but I hope that you have also experienced in it joy and growth. I know I have. I consider it a great joy and blessing to have lived among you this year, to have learned and served, to have worshiped and shared in this life of faith with you. I so appreciate your patience with me and your encouragement as I have learned and grown and learned some more, and as I have made mistakes and fumbled and succeeded and discovered how to be your pastor.
I cannot say “thank you” enough – for your support and encouragement, for your patience and grace, for your love and kindness. Thank you for welcoming me into your pulpit, to stand behind the table, to teach in your classrooms, to stand by your bedsides, to enjoy your fellowship. Thank you for welcoming me into your sanctuary, into your homes and into your hearts.
And more than that, I thank you for your partnership in the gospel. I give thanks to God that by the Spirit you have been gathered into this community of faith. As you receive a new pastor into this community, I pray that you will continue to worship and pray and trust in the faithfulness of God. I pray that you will continue to grow into lives that reflect who we are in Christ – loved and cherished children of God; and reflections of God’s love in and for the world.
As I move to Luther Seminary for a short while and then into a first call, I take with me blessed memories of you and a piece of this place. St. Peter will always remain a part of me and a will be blessing to whatever ministry into which I am called by our good and gracious God. Thank you. Thank God for you.
“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”
Grace and peace to you,
I am so excited to join your congregation this coming year. I will be the next intern pastor at St. Peter’s beginning in August. A quick introduction; my name is Christina Forsythe I grew up in central Minnesota but call Northern Minnesota my home. I apologize before-hand for my accent. If you have ever watched the movie “Fargo,” you know what I am talking about.
I have been lucky to see a lot of the world through my previous job/career as a backcountry dogsled guide. I started out in Northern Minnesota which is one of my favorite places in the world and also was able to work in Churchill Manitoba and Longyearbyen Svalbard/Norway. I started out life as a Catholic and decided I wanted to be a pastor fairly young. I started seminary in 2011. I did my first two years at Luther Seminary in St. Paul MN. I moved back to Northern Minnesota for my final year and worked as a guide again while finishing online. That was a really great experience. There is something special about taking classes and then talking about them with clients from all over. I will never forget sharing what I was learning in my Roman’s class with two clients from Saudi Arabia around a campfire in the Boundary Waters Wilderness one night. Guiding and the wilderness have shaped me greatly. I have been reminded daily to be humble and have met so many people with so many stories. It’s funny how God works. I would have never imagined that guiding would have helped prepare me for pastoring.
When I read your site profile I felt immediately called to St. Peter. I know little about Spokane and look forward to learning. I also look forward to learning from all of you and getting to know you, your interests, passions, what makes you tick as they say.
I guess that’s all. I wish all of you an excellent summer and I will see you at the end of it.