Greetings to all family and friends of Good Samaritan,
How is it with your soul? I have heard many of you got sick, and I hope the rest of you are well. Our body is very much connected to our soul, so I pray for God’s strength, healing and grace upon you all. May God protect you and your families during this winter season. As we are finishing the end of the Christian liturgical year on Thanksgiving week, I give thanks to God for all of you. I thank God for your faithfulness, dedication, compassion, commitment, and generosity.
Greeting to all from our Lord Jesus Christ,
What gorgeous Fall Colors we have seen around us, everywhere we turn to, we see the beauty of God's creation. You are part of that beautiful creation, and your beautiful work has made this world even better. Because I was sick, I could not join you on the World Communion Sun-day in person, but I heard the worship and fellowship was beautiful because you shared God's love with one another.
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to all the families of Good Samaritan UMC,
I can't believe it; time flies. I have been here with you for three months. There are phrases like “time flies when you’re having fun.” On September 23-25, three youths and I went to a NIC Youth Retreat in Lake Geneva. We had a fun and good experience meeting a new friend, worshiping with fifty-plus other youth in our Northern Illinois Conference, and lots of “Ga Ga Ball.” We also conquered our fear by getting on a giant swing that was 150 feet tall. Thank you for all your support and prayers. I pray that by the following year, we can double our youth.
Dear families of Good Samaritan UMC,
What a fun and connectional experience I had on our corn fest. I want to give thanks to God for the rain, the sunshine, and the great turn out. The uncertainty of the weather had helped us to grow closer to God, some of us prayed more than we would normally pray. Some of us practiced our faith and relied on God. I guess the good phrase we can use here is "the best of all - God is with us".
Dear Friends, the month of July has been busy and exciting. I moved into the parsonage on July 7th. The mover came at 7:30 am, started to load the boxes and furniture, and finish unload the stuff at 4:30 p.m. Our Trustee members and lay leader Karen Jeschke welcomed us with flowers, cards, and food. It was tiring and exhausted, but we are happy that we moved into our new home. Another excitement that happened in July is that I got to worship with you in person and on Facebook live.
Greetings to all of you Good Samaritan UMC family, I wish you all well.
This is my first official greeting to you through the newsletter as your new pastor and I am very excited to meet you all soon. I wake up in the middle of the night and think about you and the ministries that we will do together. I can’t wait to meet you and worship with you. I have heard so much great things about you and am looking forward to getting to know you person to person.
Greetings in the name of our resurrected Jesus Christ!
On Tuesday May 24, I attended the Northern Illinois Conference Clergy Day Apart. It was so good to be there because I was able to see my friends and colleague in ministry for the first time since the pandemic started. We worshipped and prayed and sang the hymn “And Are We Yet Alive.” Singing this hymn is our tradition when we pastors gather together.
We approved the candidates for commissioning and ordination at this coming Annual Conference. We welcomed them into our covenant group with an ovation. This reminded me of the time I was commissioned and ordained. We also celebrated the retirees. We were thankful for their service in the churches in our conference in which they had served.
Greetings in the name of our resurrected Jesus Christ!
In this newsletter, I’d like share two items of news with you. The first is that on Friday, May 13, I will receive my doctorate from Chicago Theological Seminary. My major areas of study are Philosophical Theology and Systematic Theology. It has been a long journey to finish my studies and graduate. My days off and vacations turned out to be times of study, reading, and writing. Sometimes I was tired, but most of the time I really enjoyed studying. My Ph. D program has allowed me to continually learn new things in order to be a better pastor, theologian, and leader.
The weather is getting warmer. The daylight is longer than the dark because Daylight Savings Time has already started. Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are coming. During the last two years, the pandemic did not allow us to meet in person in our sanctuary. This year is special for all of us. The pandemic has not yet finished, but it will eventually come to an end.
This month of March is the second anniversary of the pandemic. It has been two years since we began living with Covid-19. What an unprecedented time we have been experiencing! Our life has been changed in so many ways as we have dealt with this new normal life. We have been washing hands, wearing masks, meeting and worshiping virtually. One of the hardest things during the pandemic has been looking at the computer screen in meetings all day long. For me, zoom meetings are much harder than in-person meetings. During the pandemic, one thing I have learned is how crucial silence and stillness are. I’ve tried to talk less and listen more. Thankfully, we are all surviving even in this difficult time.
Time flies so quickly. I feel that the older I get, the faster time seems to pass. Now we are still going through difficult times because of Covid-19. We have been dealing with this virus since early March of 2020. I hope this Covid will pass sooner than later. Until then, please stay safe and healthy.
Believe it or not, Lent is just around the corner. This year our Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday on March 2. Our Ash Wednesday service is at 7 pm with Facebook Live stream. I encourage you to join the service either in person or virtually.
The Salt Creek Cluster pastors have met and made plans for sharing ministry together during the season of Lent 2022.
Let me begin this letter with my sincere gratitude. I am deeply humbled and grateful that I have been your pastor at Good Samaritan UMC. Thank you for being faithful people of God even as the pandemic continues to hit us. May we enter this New Year with a sense of gratitude for all the things and people we’ve been blessed with! Let us be grateful for each other, for health, friends, family, fellow-ship, the community of faith, and all those who help us through difficult times—the list is endless. May this year be filled with thankfulness in our lives. Let our gratitude become our daily routine, and let us experience abundant blessings in 2022.