Hello Good Shepherd! By the time you receive this newsletter I may very well have arrived in New Jersey. After so many months of having gone through the call process, it is good to finally be here. There are a couple things I want to share.
1) For all of you who have volunteered to host me for dinner, I want to say thank you for your hospitality and generosity. It is truly a blessing. Barbara and I really wanted to come out together as a family, but we felt it was important for Abby to finish the school year in Illinois which ends at the end of May. We should all be reunited here as a family in the first week of June. I want to apologize in advance that my availability may be somewhat limited in the month of May as I will be traveling back and forth from New Jersey and Illinois so I can spend some time with my family.
2) While it may take some time to get to know everyone, I want to encourage you to introduce yourself to me. Also, I ask for your patience as I start to put names with faces. But please make an effort to reach out to me. I would love to connect. If you are a Facebook user, I would love to be your friend. You can find me at Facebook.com/philressler. If you are not into the Facebook thing, that is more than ok, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we establish a New Jersey phone number we will make that available for you as well.
3) I want to invite you to worship on May 5, 12, and 19. Over these three Sundays I will be teaching a 3 week message series entitled Know, Grow, Go. In these messages I will be unveiling a 3-part vision for the future of Good Shepherd and the work God has prepared for us in New Jersey and beyond. These three Sundays will serve as an invitation for you to come and join me in the adventure.
4) My installation will be on May 5 at 3pm. This is a celebration not just for me, but for our whole church. In so many ways it is a new start and a new beginning. God is all about new starts. That is why he sent us Jesus so we might have a new start with him. It is going to be a joyous occasion. And how appropriate will it be to celebrate with a Mexican dinner on Cinco De Mayo. If you plan to attend (and I hope you are), don’t forget to RSVP the church office at 732-679-8883.
That is all for now, but there will be much more to come.
In Jesus, Pastor Phil