Immanuel Lutheran Church
Lamplighter: The Pastor's Pen

A letter to the congregation of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church from Rev. Dr. Brian Sunders, President LCMS Iowa District East:

Blessed Brothers and Sisters of Immanuel Lutheran Church. This will be the first newsletter article since Pastor Northwick's retirement. I wanted to contribute to it if you allow for two reasons. First of all I would like to thank the Lord of the Church for the faithful shepherding of Pastor Northwick over his life as a Pastor. He is a man of honest integrity and commitment to the Word of God. He has preached what Christ has given Him and officiated the Sacraments as Scripture commands. In and through this service the lost have been found and the faithful have been fed. A district president cannot ask for more than that.

Second I would like to encourage you as an congregation that the Lord of the Church already knows who He is going to send to be your new shepherd. The fearless blessing of our Synod is that the man will have vowed to uphold the same Word and Lutheran Confessions that all your previous pastors have. The Word does not change so neither will the tender care you receive from your minister. The pastor tends your soul with the unchanging Word as it is exhibited to you in the Confessions of the Church. The Holy Spirit knows every one of your needs and who He will send to meet them. As Jesus said "I will never leave you nor will I forsake you."

During the vacancy you will be tended by a capable and gifted pastor. Also during that time your children will be taught, visits made to hospitals and shut0-ins, sermons prepared and Divine Service conducted. I with to add that during the vacancy I will be working with the leadership of the congregation to assist in the Calling process. God will Call a man and when it is the man He has chosen, , he will accept the Call and come to St. Ansgar. That day will happen for sure. Christ always wants His sheep tended by a faithful and caring shepherd. He sees to it and makes it happen. So I want to encourage you all in their time of vacancy that everything will be fine. The church belongs to Christ and He watches His bride with loving eyes. God be with you. I will see you soon.

President Saunders