“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1: 3-5).”

Dear Holy Cross Family, What a joy and privilege it has been to serve among you, to receive your encouragement and support, and to call you family.

These two years have been a tremendous time of learning for me. My understanding of scripture, the confessions, and God’s mercy to us through the lens of our Lutheran perspective has provided a deep understand of who we have been made to be by our Creator, Redeemer, and Counselor. And, how we will serve, for Christ’s sake, the community surrounding us. While much of this learning has occurred by the guidance and direction of my professors and classmates, you have given me the opportunity to put my belief into practice and apply that learning. In so many ways from my participation in Prime Timers, Mary Martha, Human Care Team, Intergenerational Bible Class, and other events you have welcomed my family into the life of the church and been open to my ideas, leadership, and care. By doing so, you have allowed me to make mistakes, learn, and grow. For these opportunities and your encouragement, I am thankful.

The deaconess prepares to serve the church as Christ’s ears. Hearing the needs of His people, both brothers and sisters in Christ, and those without faith who are separated from Him. As she hears the needs, she seeks to connect the unconnected and care for both body and soul. So that, His name would be made great among us and His love, mercy, and grace received by His family of faith would flow freely, in big and small acts of kindness, as the church goes out into the world actively caring for the lost. For the opportunity to be Christ’s hands and feet together with the body of Christ gathered at Holy Cross, I am thankful.

I have accepted a role to serve as Program Director at Academy 4. Academy 4 connects churches to schools and communities and provides a mentor for EVERY 4th grader in the economically disadvantaged schools they serve. Academy 4 volunteers serve together once a month for 90 minutes and mentor the 4th graders in leadership. They express love and care and provide the students with a positive relationship with a dependable adult. I am excited about this opportunity to support an organization whose purpose is to help the church serve its community and build relationships with students and families for the sake of being Christ’s presence beyond the walls of the church building. If you would like to continue to learn about Academy 4 and join the e-newsletter list, please send me an email.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to study and learn praying with me that the Lord would shape both my belief and practice of the mercy and care for those He loves. By God’s grace, we are not the same because of you and it is with tremendous joy and thanksgiving we will continue to pray for you. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).”

Your family in Christ,
Rachel, Brennan, Dash and Pippa