From Pastor Dave Dockweiler

Family of Faith,

I hope this letter finds you doing very well. Sarah and I and our kids continue to plug in and fall in love with this church, this area and continue getting to know all of you! Things are going very well. Our church council and commissions have been dreaming and making plans for the Christmas season and we will end this year in great shape.

               I want to take a moment and highlight a couple of activities coming up that should get on your calendar. December 3rd we are going to decorate the entire church inside and out for Christmas. Right after church the work will begin and lunch will be served. I hope you can come and take part in the seasonal fun!  

               Our young people will present the Christmas Pageant on December 17th at the late service.  Cute-ness will flow like a rushing river, I have heard it is coming along splendidly.    

               This year both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve land on Sundays. Thus, to honor the 4th week of Advent, we will combine our morning services into one at 10am.  Our family friendly, child centered service will take place at 4 with candlelight services at 8:30 and 11.  These services are always a highlight of the year for me so I hope you can attend! New Year’s Eve also lands on a Sunday, so the following Sunday we will also have only one service at 10.    

               A few people have asked me about how and why I became a pastor. Since I have hoped to get to know many of you on a more personal level, I’ll give you a bit of my story. Growing up I was the baby in a family of 3 kids. I got really involved in our church youth group, every summer we would go on a mission trip which really fueled me. It was on one of these trips that I began talking with my pastor about what he did outside of the hour that I saw him on Sunday. This was the opening of a door that eventually led me to choosing college majors that would set me up for seminary (grad school) which launched me into leadership ministry. I found that trips with church folk represent some of the milestones on my faith journey.    

               During college I went to Northern Ireland as part of an alternative spring break with my campus ministry. During seminary I fell in love with Guatemala through a cross cultural experience. After meeting and falling in love with Sarah I led a group back to Guatemala including Sarah. In fact I proposed to her just a few days before we left.

As you can tell, I love getting out of my regular bubble, stepping out in faith with a group of sojourners.    

               Our young people are preparing for the ELCA National Gathering. The Gathering happens every 3 years and is a life changing event. I have attended 2, both in New Orleans. There is nothing like worshiping and singing at the top of your lungs with 30,000 other youth from around the country. It is good to see the big church in action every once and a while and I am jealous of those heading to Houston this summer. With our third baby on the way I can’t go this year. In the coming years there will be opportunities to pack your bags, take a step out in faith and grow with some friends from church.    

I hope to hear more of your stories! See you on Sunday,

Pastor Dave