Pastor's Periodic Pondering  
by Pastor Josh Nelson


"You say goodbye, and I say hello...hello, hello!"  
The Beatles
This has been a big week for us on church staff as we welcomed Stephanie Proper to our team as our new Church Administrator.  Now Stephanie may be known to you as Mrs. Potts because that's the character she played in last year's musical, though soon you'll see her as a citizen of Oz in this year's production.  She also played Katharina Luther for us during Reformation Worship last October.  But now, she'll be playing her real-life self as our Church Administrator - that person who often will pick up the phone when you call and say to you: "hello, hello!"  while taking on many other tasks around here as well.

  Now, here's a little bit more about Stephanie.  She is fluent in Spanish, has traveled  extensively, and has worked in marketing, book-keeping and office administration.  In these last ten years, she's been a stay-at-home mom helping run her household.  Her husband, John, works as a lawyer at Allianz Life Insurance.  They have two children: Michael, who is a 7th Grader and in our Confirmation program, and Grace, who is a 4th Grader and in our Christos program (while also learning how to be one of our flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz).  Stephanie was born in Omaha, NE, has lived in Washington D.C., Mesa AZ, and most recently, moved here two years ago from Houston, TX.  She loves traveling, as well as reading, and thinks a newer hobby is chauffeuring her children to their many activities.
The Beatles' song that I quoted at the outset of this pondering reminds us that oftentimes hellos are tied to goodbyes.  So this was also a big week for our church staff because we said goodbye to Marilyn Syverson who has worked at Family of Christ for the past ten years.  At a lunch together this past Thursday, the staff said our emotional thank-yous, along with a sort-of, kind-of version of goodbye.  That's because Marilyn isn't leaving, really!  Oh sure, she's going on to a new job, but we know she is a phone call away, and she will still be found leading worship here through her musical gifts and being involved in our church life along with her husband, Jay.  So this is a qualified goodbye.  I've never been good at goodbyes anyway, and much prefer, 'see ya laters.'  But I am good at saying thanks - and to Marilyn, I say thanks for everything, and well done good and faithful servant of the Lord!
Now back to Stephanie.  Let's all be sure to embrace her in the loving way that Family of Christ lifts up its servant workers.  The next time you need to call over here to the church office, listen for the new "hello, hello" on the other end.  Pop in sometime soon and greet her.  And join the church staff in making Stephanie feel welcomed to her tasks and joyful in her new role among us. 
See you in church!

- Pastor Josh


Did you know that many people in our community rely on food shelves? Two high school students, Andrew Mahlke and Donald Armstrong, are setting up a food drive  for a school project. This food will be donated to Bountiful Basket food shelf in Chaska. The most greatly needed items right now are peanut butter, soup, and canned meats (but any donations, including monetary donations, are greatly appreciated).  If you have extra food at home, please consider bringing it to the donation bins in the narthex and it will be brought to Bountiful Basket.
J-TERM 2018
Sign up NOW for Family of Christ's annual J-Term  educational series!  Classes will be offered on four consecutive Mondays, beginning  January 15 and continuing on January 22, 29 and February 5 from 6:30-9pm.  Contact Leann Thompson, Director of Faith Formation, at  with questions.

Read the latest issue of Family News for more announcements.