Dear Brothers and Sisters of Trinity Lutheran Ministries,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Gal. 1:3-5)
Yes, to the Lord Jesus Christ, be all glory now and forever, Amen. On Thursday, March 14, Trinity Lutheran Ministries was led by the Holy Spirit to extend to me her call to be Senior Pastor. I have been truly humbled and honored by the extension of this call.
Humbled, because no man is worthy of the calling to be a pastor. Yes, no man is worthy and yet Christ calls men into this office to bring to the Church what she needs. She needs Christ, and that is what the pastor is to bring to the congregation. Christ in His Word and Christ in His Sacraments, Christ given for His bride the Church.
I am honored because Trinity is more than just a ministry to me, for it is a family. You are my Brothers and Sisters in Christ and what God has done through you here is truly amazing. I am honored to be asked to be a part of Trinity’s future. I am also honored to be listed with the Godly men who have served this church in the past.
With that said, I am writing to announce that I have prayed with my wife, the District President, the Board of Elders and many others, through the guiding of the Holy Spirit I have been led to accept your call to be Senior Pastor. May the Lord continue to guide us by His Holy Spirit as we live out our lives together in Christ.
I ask for your continued prayers as we live our lives together. We know that we will be faced with many challenges and hardships but we can trust in what the Lord has told us. We can trust that these challenges are used by God to strengthen our faith and so that we will be better able to serve our neighbor.
“…God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
At this time I also ask for your forgiveness, for I must confess to you that I am a sinner. This is something that we all confess every week. “I confess that I am by nature sinful and unclean.” This is true of me too. This sin is something that we do not desire to do and yet we fall and for it I say, “Lord have mercy.” I ask for your patience as we grow together in the gracious mercy of almighty God.
Brothers and Sisters, God has given each of us the most precious gift of all, the gift of His Son our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Father has given His Son into death that we might not die eternally. It is at this time of year where the joy of the Resurrection abounds with the shouts of thanksgiving and songs of praise.
I rejoice in this new call and our continued partnership in the Gospel. May the Lord continue to bless us and our ministry as He has been so generous in His blessings in our past. Yes, Trinity you know this Word to be true:
“For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.” (Ps 117:2)
Your humble servant,
Rev. John Shank
1 Cor. 16:13-14