Dear friends in Christ,
Five and a half years ago you called me to be your pastor. And, for these past five and a half years, you’ve (hopefully) watched me actually become one! After all, this has been my first call to ordained ministry. As we all do in new professional roles, I was inevitably going to make mistakes, face challenges I had never faced before, and, of course, be completely surprised by the many joys, griefs, and questions of this place. For this reason – and for many others – Christ the King/Cristo Rey will forever occupy a special place in my heart.
Christ the King is the place where I first raised the bread and the cup and announced Christ’s presence and forgiveness in the sacrament of Holy Communion. This is the place where I first baptized babies and young people into the family of God, washing them in the promises of God’s mercy and grace. I have grown as a preacher, especially as I have listened and learned from your stories, from your encounters and experiences of God in daily life. I’ve visited your workplaces and homes and hospitals, and, over the past year-and-a-half, I suspect I’ve shown up on many of your television sets and computer screens! I have walked with young people through the rite of confirmation, worked construction in Appalachia, summited peaks in Montana, donned many silly costumes for Vacation Bible School, traveled across the world to our partners in Tanzania, and learned the best way to get a good crust on a pizza baked in a wood-fired oven.
What a strange and wondrous calling this has been. And what a strange and wondrous place Christ the King is! As I move onto a new call to campus ministry, the people of Christ the King will remain in my prayers. There is so much goodness here. God’s Spirit is breathing new life and vitality into this place (as She always has), calling Christ the King into a future that none of us can fully know or control.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for entrusting me with your stories. For inviting me into your lives and praying for me and for my family. We are the body of Christ, broken and given for the life of the world! Though our paths are now diverging, nothing will ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Even in a difficult time of transition, this fact brings me great joy, and strength for the journey to come.
May God bless you and keep you, dear friends and partners in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
By Joanne Zenz
Exciting things are happening at Christ the King. It’s our Jubilee and we are celebrating 60 years in ministry together. The founders of CtK had a long-term vision and made long-term investments setting the stage for the amazing things that have happened in doing God’s work over the years. We now look forward to the next 60 years of CtK. Long-term vision and investment will again set the stage for CtK to continue to do God’s work.
We have an opportunity to make a long-term investment in solar energy, reducing energy costs and preserving the environment that God gave us for the next 30+ years. As Christians, we need to care for God’s creation and preserve the environment for future generations at Christ the King.
The Property Committee of Christ the King, of which I am a member, has spent countless hours in the last few years reducing energy costs. We are stewards of a large church building with many lights, furnaces, and air conditioners. In response, we have installed energy-efficient LED lights, put timers on bathroom and hallway lights, and replaced HVAC systems with higher efficiency models.
After thorough study by the Property Committee, we see solar as a long-term investment we need to make to further reduce energy costs and help our environment. Let’s take the next step in Christ the King’s future and celebrate our Jubilee by going SOLAR! Please attend the congregational meeting on November 7 and vote in favor of this exciting project.
By Vern Rice
About fifteen years ago, fellow member, Pastor Richard Mork (who was then serving as ELCA Mission Director for our St. Paul Area and three other synods) commented to me that Christ the King had such a dynamic Global Missions Team. Would I consider also starting a Local Mission Partner Team since there were several local ethnic/immigrant ministries that also needed our support?
So Dale Erickson and I met with Richard and reached out to local Hmong, Chinese and Latino ministries. We agreed to a three-part commitment with those ministries: To Pray for each other; To be Present with each other, and to share Presents with each other as our gifts and needs become known.
Since then we have developed local partnerships with Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis and Daily Work, a job counselling service in St Paul. This Local Mission Partner ministry has become one of the main passions for ministry in my retirement years. I am so glad to have worked these many years with several ethnic/immigrant partners and members at Christ the King who continue to support this ministry.