June Newsletter

Exodus 20:8–11
8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of theLord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

These words are the fourth of the ten commandments. They are God’s Word for us to take time to rest, recover, and get rejuvenated. While the day of rest does not always have to be a Sunday, it is important for all of God’s people to take time off, to allow our bodies to rest, and to take time to be devoted to worship Him.

How are you doing with that, my St. Peter’s friends? Are you resting in the Lord regularly and taking time to slow down to be with Him?

I have to be honest – over the course of the last 15 years, I have not been taking a day of rest each week.  My typical week has always been to pack as much as I could into every day and I used coffee to keep me running in high gear. For some reason, I just had the idea that the fourth commandment didn’t apply to me as a pastor. 

In December, my mind and body went into a shutdown mode.  I had been running on caffeine and carbohydrates for far too long.  I was in a very stressful time of life and I was not resting well. I was not taking time to exercise, which Heidi will tell you that I desperately need.  So when my body and mind began to shut down, some men that love me dearly sat me down and told me something had to change. I tried all the excuses you could think of – I’ll take a few days away and recover.  I’ll slow down after Christmas.  When my next class at seminary is over, I’ll be fine.  Fortunately these men loved me enough to hold me accountable and to make me call for a time out.  They could see it in me.  I was losing my patience often and I was running on an empty tank.

Reluctantly, I asked our elders and deacons for a summer sabbatical.  Many pastors around the world take a few months away from pastoral responsibilities every seven years.  It was simply time for me to step away and rest. 

Now that time is here.  My summer sabbatical will be Monday, June 8thand I will be back to pastoring on Sunday, September 6th.  While I am away, my good friend Pastor Dan Dellosso will be filling in for me.  He and Pastor Jerry will be preaching and taking on my normal duties for the summer months, along with the elder board.

I know you, and the whole church, are going to love Pastor Dan.  He is a humble, compassionate, loving, and kind servant of our Savior. God saved him and called him to be a pastor and he has served over 10 churches in his lifetime. He will bring a wealth of love, knowledge, and challenge to our church during the summer months.

So while I’m away this summer, please love up on Pastor Dan.  He will love you back and he will challenge you in your walk with Jesus. I know our church will grow this summer, both numerically and spiritually, under Dan’s leadership. 

The summer has a way of going quickly, so I’ll be back before you know it.  I’ll look forward to seeing everyone in September!

For His Glory,

Tom