It has been quite the ride these past several months with no fixed minister at the helm. But after some unfortunate set-backs beyond our control, the Executive Committee has hired an Interim Minister to guide us through this time of grieving and transition. The Rev Peter Ilgenfritz (pronounce Il-jen-fritz) comes to us on February 1st. He is lately of Seattle, where he served for 25 years in a team ministry with three full-time pastors that acted as the senior pastor. He writes that besides providing pastoral care, preaching, and teaching, he has experience in all aspects of the church’s life and leadership, including Administration, Christian Education, Music Ministry, Missions and Social Justice, and Elementary and Youth Programs. This past year, Peter felt called to leave Seattle, and he founded a new ministry called Navigating Through Change. This ministry “…provides coaching, spiritual companionship, consultation and retreats for individuals in times of change and transition.” Peter is also a relatively new, but avid sailor, a passion he delights in sharing.
In his letter to the Executive Committee, Peter writes, “My hope and prayer for this journey we embark on together is that as you get to know me, you will get to know yourselves in new ways. That as you introduce me to your communities and to the mystery that is Maine you will learn about and experience your own community in new ways. I trust that we will have some great fun together on this journey as we listen, discover, wonder, and explore where the Spirit is whispering, leading, and calling each of us and your church community to be and go.”
As we welcome Peter into our midst, we must say a sincere and heartfelt thank you to the pastors who filled our pulpit during the last several months: Tom Lenhart in November, Brian Donovan on Christmas Eve and Martin Luther King weekend, and Ken Bradsell, through December and most of January. We owe you a huge debt. Your grace, warmth, humor, and moving messages have nurtured and reassured us during a very unsettling time. We are very grateful to you all.