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My last News from the Pews as your lead pastor. It’s strange to write those words. Stranger still to live into retirement. But you and I know it is time. And that is why. Time. It seems the older I get the more swiftly time passes. I can remember clearly the day in 2014 that I walked into our sanctuary wondering if I should take the position as site pastor. I remember being overwhelmed with the beauty of the sanctuary, the history of this church, and the privilege it would be to stand in the long line of pastors who had served Christ here.

I can remember clearly the day we took down all the ropes we had put across the back pews to create community while we worshiped. We finally needed the space to hold people who were choosing to be part of this body of Christ. I remember my joy in 2019 when we chartered and officially became The Downtown Church. And I remember my absolute fear when COVID hit in 2020. While I stewed about how we were going to continue, Brian immediately went into “we can do this” mode, and we became an online church that Sunday. I remember the multitude of conversations we had about how to serve our congregation during a pandemic and our Board taking the responsibility to call everyone on our regular attendee and member list to make sure they knew they were not forgotten.

As we continued to grow, I remember how many of you said “yes” to serve this church and the community around us. There have been only two full-time people on the staff here, Brian and me. So much is done by incredible part-time staff and the huge number of laity that choose to live out their faith through The Downtown Church.

Yes, it is a big change for me to retire. Yes, it will feel different for a bit. And it's time for you all to write a new chapter. One under the leadership of Pastor Brian Mattson, your incredible board, Keith, Carla, Cody, Andrew, Brent, and Heather as part time staff, and the many many laity who have made a commitment to this church. I can’t wait to read it!

I love you all. Thank you for the honor of being your pastor.

See you this Sunday,

Mark your calendars for the annual All Church Picnic! The fun is happening on Sunday, July 7, from 4:30-7pm at the Phelps Grove Park pavilion. It's going to be a great time as we celebrate new beginnings, and embrace traditions–like water balloons. And don't forget–you have a job that day. If you are under 40 bring chips and drinks. If you are between 40-70, bring a side dish. And if you are over 70, bring a dessert. RSVP HERE!
As a reminder, our fearless leader is heading off into retirement! Help us send Lori off with a wonderful celebration after worship this Sunday. There will be some big laughs, fun memories, and a delicious lunch. We will shower her with cards, so mark your calendars and plan to join us.

Our Little Library is getting used very regularly so we need some more books! If you have any old books at home that you'd be happy to donate, bring them to church and we'll add them to the Little Library when it needs to be re-stocked.

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