Pastor’s Page – October 2023

Dear Members and Friends of St. Paul’s,

In October, we celebrate Reformation Day. Part of our celebration commemorates the events within history that led to the creation of the Lutheran Church. However, Reformation is more than just a celebration of history.

When we think of the word Reformation, its root is found in the word reform. On Reformation Day, we celebrate the ways in which God is forming and re-forming the church in all times and places. Of course, one of the synonyms for reform is that most-dreaded word: change. In the 1500s when Martin Luther was writing, there was a Spirit of change moving within the church and world.

That Spirit of change continues to move throughout churches today. Here at St. Paul’s, one of the big changes we are experiencing is in regard to our music program. We give thanks for Denise and Jackie’s ministry over the last 20 years. They have worked to shape our music programs in many ways, adapting ensembles as the church has changed, and reaching out to members of our community to share their many and varied musical gifts. While we are sad to see them move on to different ministries, and for Denise

to a new home, we trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us through our own time of reformation.

For now, the hiring committee of Andy Opperman, Louise Hikade, Jackie Smith, Krissy Soltesz, and myself have been hard at work seeking our next Director of Music. Natalie Houwen has arranged supply musicians for October. Same Spirit Band will continue to play at 9:00 am worship. Adult Choir and Bells hope to provide special music for Reformation Sunday. Timbrel & Dance still has a strong foundation. Grace Notes is on a hiatus, but will hopefully return later this year. Things will be different during this interim period, but our music and our worship will continue.

As a brief side note, we are wondering how many people actually read the Chimes each month. If you are reading this, please reach out to the office to let us know! As we look to the future, God may be opening a door for us to grow and explore new music and music ministries that we’ve not tried before. A new director will bring a different energy to the life of the congregation and our music ensembles, and we will grow together as we learn from one another.

Change brings with it a variety of emotions. Certainly, there is sadness as we grieve the end of this era in our music ministries. We may feel anxiety as we struggle with the unknown future. It is a stressful time as volunteers work to fill in various gaps both in worship and behind the scenes. But, in the midst of change, there is also hope.

We are entering a new era of music at St. Paul’s, and God is at work in us. There is excitement for the opportunity to try new things, to build new relationships, and tap into the gifts of a new leader.

During this time of transition, you are invited to pray for St. Paul’s: for the hiring committee, the council, our musical ensembles, our supply musicians, our volunteers filling in, and the whole congregation. I also encourage you to be flexible, gracious, and patient throughout the transitions. As always, I welcome your questions, hopes and concerns.

Finally, just one plug: Same Spirit Band will be in need of a volunteer drummer after the interim. Let us know if you have any ideas!

In this time of reformation, I pray that the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom, discernment, and peace.


Rev. Jessica Hahn