Last year at this time we were bidding farewell to our pastor and beginning the call process to find our next spiritual leader. Praise God that we have now discovered who God intended to be our next pastor as we begin our 145th church year. We look forward to installing Pastor Latzke and are excited to begin this next chapter in our illustrious history.
As I mentioned at the most recent congregational voters meeting, I continue to be lifted by the faith, service, perseverance, and commitment of you the members of St John’s during this time of vacancy. It can be an anxious time for sure, and in many places during a vacancy, ministries slowly fade, and people become disengaged from the church. But your tremendous response was to do the opposite … rather than become complacent you rededicated yourself to this church and the loving and merciful God we all serve. Rather than see ministries fade we saw the resumption of ministries like Bible, Brothers, and Brews as well as the creation of a brand-new women's ministry Wine, Women, and the Word. You provided support to Sam Gatz and her ministry in Hungary; you continued to support the great work being done through our Perry partnership and you not only kept Boys and Girls Club of Dundee Township going, but you are also expanding the partnership to provide needed family counseling and engagement right here in downtown Algonquin.
I would also like to thank and acknowledge the service of our interim pastor, Pastor Stewart Schulz. He provided much needed guidance, preaching, and member visitation throughout the year. We also recognize the many guest preachers we had during the year, especially Pastor Schalk, Pastor Kittel, Pastor Borhart, Pastor Whitby, and others who faithfully preached the Good News.