Last month, the weekend of Father’s Day, I had the privilege of watching Kassidy and Robert become husband and wife. She was two when I met her in Seward, Nebraska. I was a graduate student working on a Master’s and a DCE Specialist Certification at Concordia. I was matched with her family by the university. When she was in Kindergarten, I happened to be there on DCE business. She asked me to be her Show and Tell at school… “This is my Serena,” she said. I feel blessed to be in a relationship with this family even to this day. Kassidy’s youngest brother is my Godson, soon to be a senior in high school.
As I celebrate my 20 year mark as a Commissioned Minister of the Gospel – Director of Christian Education within the LCMS on July 30, I look back and see a multitude of faces… people who inspired me in the first place to consider DCE ministry and people whom I have had the privilege to walk with during joyful and difficult times. The call to church work is not always an easy one. I think, perhaps, that’s just how life goes no matter what your occupation. Yet, God is always with us… growing and shaping us, loving, lifting and filling us, using us as His instruments, so that others might come to know His love for them.
It is an honor to be in the lives of God’s people and to be about his business, serving as I am called. I have been and continue to be so very inspired by the people I serve with, the parishioners of the church, the students I served as a teacher of DCEs in the university setting and by other church workers. I have learned much from and been touched by so many people… people from a variety of ages, cultures and backgrounds.
Twenty years later, I see Jesus remains faithful to His people. While ministry looks a little different today, the Word of God remains alive and moving! Not only this, but the relationships built along the way remain among the most precious gifts in my life. I am humbled to have the opportunity to continue to serve as I do.
As my young friend, Nick, starts out in ministry, I pray that his relationship with God would strengthen even more than he can imagine and that the relationship part of ministry will be a special blessing to him. I further pray that all of God’s people at Grace would see that they, too, are called to be in a relationship with one another and called to be bold in sharing their faith. After all, we never know whom we might inspire!
Joyfully in His Service!