December 12, 2017
Pastor's Message

Dear Friends in Christ,

As most of you know, I announced earlier this year at our annual congregational meeting that 2017 would be a year of transitioning as I sought to discern God's will for me and for our congregation. After much prayer and consultation with Bishop Zeiser and Pastor Mike Bennethum, our ELCA Director for Evangelical Mission here in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, I've decided to accept a call to special service as a mission redeveloper in a congregation of the Pocono Mission District. This call will begin on January 1 of 2018, which means my last day with you will be on Sunday, December 31, which will be one service of lessons and carols at 9:30 AM and include a service of healing.

From recent experiences, I know that some of you reading this article may be learning of my leave-taking for the first time. Others may remember hearing of my intentions at the meeting back in February and simply let it slip their minds or preferred not to think about it. In either case, I want you to know that I deeply value the twenty-seven years I've spent as your pastor. It's been a privilege to walk with you—and Jesus—along this path of life with all the highs and lows, the joys and sorrows, and, like it says in the marriage ceremony, "joining together in all that the years may bring." For, in many ways, being a pastor in a congregation is like a marriage, the only difference being that marriages are supposed to last "till death us do part." Fortunately, that's not the case here, and I can begin my new call with the satisfaction that Grace is at a good place right now. Our Wednesday evening small group on the topic of "From Surviving to Thriving" has garnered a committed core of twenty leaders of this congregation who are excited and energized by their vision of the future at Grace Lutheran Church, Shillington. That excitement will only gather momentum as I leave and Pastor John Richter, the Associate of the Bishop for the West Berks Mission District, leads you through the process of finding a new pastor.

In some ways, I feel like Moses who, standing on Mt. Nebo and looking into the Promised Land, realizes that he won't be going over the Jordan River with the people he's led in the wilderness for forty years. I admit to feeling a certain wistfulness about that; and yet, I trust that the Lord holds the future of all of us in His hands. He is faithful and will guide us according to the various destinies He's laid out for each of us. To Him be all the glory and honor in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Your pastor and friend,
The Rev. Carl W. Filer


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Address
30 Liberty Street, Shillington, PA 19607
Email: graceshillington@graceshillington.org
Phone
Office: 610-777-7885
Fax: 610-777-3841
Service Times
Sunday: 7:45am and 10:30am