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St. Paul Lutheran Church - Transition Information
580 Indian Trace - Weston, FL 33326
"Nurtures and strengthens the
families of our diverse community."
Copy of letter sent to congregation on May 14, 2018:
Dear St. Paul Lutheran Church,
Many plans and meetings have taken place since Pastor Tim and Laurie announced their retirement plans with us on Sunday, January 28th. There have been two major goals as we process the news and work to the future. The first goal has been to celebrate Tim and Laurie and the ministry that they have been a part of here at St. Paul. The second goal focuses on what will happen after May 27th as we work towards Calling the next pastor for St. Paul.
We look forward to celebrating with Pastor Tim and Laurie on the 27th of May. This will be Tim’s last Sunday to lead at St. Paul and we will worship at 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. There will be a few special guests participating in each service. In between the services there will be a fellowship time with the Hartners. After the late worship there will be a Celebration Luncheon from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. During the Luncheon there will be a program with some guest speakers and President Greg Walton, of the Florida Georgia District of the Lutheran Church, will conclude that celebration with a special blessing for Pastor Tim and Laurie. If you haven’t RSVPd for the Celebration Luncheon, please do so with the church office as soon as possible.
While Pastor Tim and Laurie plan to stay in South Florida, they will not be worshiping with us at St. Paul or be involved in the transition process to find the next pastor. This practice is common in Lutheran Churches so that the congregation can begin to look to the next pastor as the leader, and so that the retiring pastor is allowed to retire from his role of supporting and shepherding the congregation.
Pastors and leaders from the district have already begun to help guide us in our plans for the transition process. After May 27th, Pastor Scott Gress and Pastor Mark Abram will help lead worship on Sunday mornings. I will be working with the St. Paul staff to help ensure that our day to day ministry and programs continue to nurture and strengthen the families of our diverse community. Steve Reeve, chair of the Governing Board, will work with the board to ensure that their roles and responsibilities in leadership at St. Paul continue to move in the right direction. Chris Seruga will continue to lead the Lay Ministers as well as they help the ministry at St. Paul thrive.
Pastor Scott Gress is also working with Steve, Chris, and me to direct the transition process of leadership from Pastor Tim to our next pastor. This transition will start in June, and continue over the summer as we work through a self study process that helps us learn more about who we are as a congregation, our community around us, and the type of pastor we feel will best lead us in the future. The whole congregation’s participation in this Self Study Process is vitally important!
As you can see, there is a lot to be done, lots to be excited about, and most importantly, lots of things to be praying about. First and foremost, we can be reminded that God’s got this! He already knows the outcome and promises to be with us through the process. I have already started to pray for our next pastor, that God is growing him and already using him in amazing ways. I invite you to start praying for our next pastor too, along with the leadership of St. Paul through the process.
We look forward to sharing more with you over the next coming weeks and months and involving as many people as possible in our Self Study Process. We are thankful for you and the gifts God has given you to live and serve in this community and we look forward to experiencing God’s blessings together in this place as we shine the light of God’s love to others in South Florida.
Peace in Christ,
Jeremy Becker, DCE
Director of Youth and Family Ministry
The Leadership at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Weston is at work in the Pastoral Transition Process. Stay up to date with correspondence, meetings, and information here on the Transition Information Page.
What has happened:
- August 8, 2018 - The Interview Survey is available online to provide questions that every member can ask people they know to help gather information from our community.
- June, 2018 - Three teams were established to work on "homework" assigned by the district.
- Prayer Walking Organization Team - Led by Claire Loftus and Irene Carraway to help schedule and encourage members to "prayer walk" their neighborhood and St. Paul's neighborhood to see it through God's eyes. Contact Claire or Irene for more information.
- Local Community Leader Interview Team - Led by Dan Young to identify leaders and schedule interviews with them to help us gather data about the community and the needs, concerns, possible future partnerships with St. Paul. Connect with Dan if you would like to help.
- Survey Group - Led by Tracy Bovee to help every member of St. Paul interview friends, relatives and neighbors to gather data about our community. Tracy is working with Ben Kalinsky to develop the survey questions.
- Sunday, May 27th, 2018 - Pastor Tim and Laurie Retirement Celebration
Over 675 people were in attendance at the 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. services at St. Paul. Special guests shared reflections for Pastor Tim and Laurie including President Greg Walton (FL-GA District), Rabbi Norm Lipson (Rabbi Emeritus Temple Dor Dorim), Monsignor Pablo Navarro (St. John Neumann Catholic Church) and Deborah Carvajal and Cydney Hartner (Pastor Tim and Laurie's Daughters).
A Celebration Lunch was served for over 550 who RSVPd for lunch. The St. Paul Kids Choir, Katie Hutchinson and Jeremy Becker, provided music for the celebration. Special guests spoke including Weston's Mayor Daniel Stermer, Weston City Manager John Flint, Senior Vice President of Arvida Roy Rogers, First St. Paul Preschool Registered child Marissa Marrero, Jeremy and Kristin Becker's daughters Mikayla and Natalie Becker, Pastor and son of the congregation Billy Brath, and President Greg Walton. Celebration Program on YouTube.
- Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - The Governing Board Passed a Resolution to peacefully release Pastor Tim from his Call to St. Paul Lutheran Church:
Since our pastor Timothy Hartner has made known his intention to retire from his
position at St. Paul effective May 27, 2018. I move that:
We, the St. Paul Lutheran Governance Board, effective immediately, lovingly and
gratefully, officially release the Call to which Timothy Hartner accepted 28 years ago,
and that we recognize, he has performed his duties with excellence in all humility, as
a good and faithful servant of our congregation.
- Monday, May 14th, 2018 A letter was sent out to the congregation briefly explaining the beginning of the transition process. A copy of the letter is below.
What's Coming up?
- October/November: Review of findings from Summer/Fall "Homework"