Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As I walk through the Hy-Vee down the street and many other stores around town, I see that school supplies are beginning to hit the shelves. Last year when we arrived in Iowa City, school was just starting and we saw the hustle and bustle throughout the streets. Driving downtown, we saw the thousands of students walking to and from class as they engaged in their own learning.
This year, as your Vicar, I have learned many things—from the writing and preaching of a sermon to Bible study preparation, from leading those Bible studies to conducting nursing home services. You have taught me what it means to lead God’s people. In the conversations with you before and after church, in the office, or even running into you at the store, you have taught me what it means to care for and listen to God’s people.
Many things were learned throughout the past year, not limited to the place to park and not park for a Hawkeye football game or how to collect, label and distribute water bottles in the 4th of July Parade. I have seen Christ Caring through you, His people, as you went out on Christ Cares Sunday to volunteer and care for those in our community.
I have become familiar with the city of Iowa City. My feet have trod the many paths and running trails in the neighborhood, both on my own for a brisk morning run and for a leisurely walk with Cassie and Theo at the end of the day.
In addition to the many things I have learned this year, I have also seen the many parts that make up Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. You all have your unique gifts and abilities that God has given to you. As you gather together here at Our Redeemer, you gather as parts of the Body of Christ.
“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27
You gather at this place of worship to receive the forgiveness of sins, receive God’s good gifts, and offer praise to God for what He has done for you. As you gather, you build one another up as brothers and sisters in Christ, all members of the same body.
We recite at the end of each service, “Here at Our Redeemer, we are about….equipping disciples, to make disciples, for Jesus.” As many parts of the body of Christ, you go forth to make disciples for Jesus. Thank you for sharing the year with me where I could be about equipping disciples, to make disciples for Jesus. I look forward to taking the experience of this past year and building on it in the next year of classes at the Seminary, and the many years after wherever the Lord sends me to serve a congregation.
Thank you for the many opportunities to get to know you and share the love of Christ with you. Cassie and I appreciated the warm welcome we received when arriving at Our Redeemer and we look forward to that same hospitality to be shared in fostering Vicar Scheele’s family in their year here.
Vicar Andrew Wolfgram