Peter and Paul, Apostles
June 29, 2022
Dear People of God at Resurrection Lutheran Church:
After much prayerful deliberation and holy conversations with many of you individually and communally, I have decided to accept the call to serve as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Thus, with numerous mixed emotions and with a heavy heart, I announce to you my resignation as pastor of Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church.
I am deeply appreciative of the past week and a half, a time that has afforded us occasion to engage together in this final phase of my discernment of call. The conversations and communications we have had together during these days have been enormously helpful and important, even as they have been difficult to undertake. I heard what I believe is a full range of thought and opinion from you, though I am also aware that not everyone claimed the opportunity to be in conversation and that perhaps some may not have spoken the fullness of what was on their hearts and minds. But the net effect of our conversations has been a confirmation of my sense of call to transition to engage the pastorate of Faith Church while also undertaking the daily opportunities of being father to Nathan all in the same geographic locale in central Phoenix. Many of you expressed understanding of and respect for the claims of being dad and pastor, and the desirability of fulfilling these responsibilities in the same place.
During our conversations in the past several days, I also unmistakably heard and felt the weight of the effect this decision will have on you and the congregation, especially with the need to engage in another call process so soon after the process to call me as pastor of Resurrection Church. Thus, my decision has been a difficult one to make, even as the call before me offers promise to reintegrate and reunite the parental and pastoral dimensions of my vocation.
My decision is also difficult because I have such high regard for you individually and together as a congregation. Please know that everything that drew me to serving as your pastor remains in place and my view of you has not changed. That is to say, you and the congregation embody great gifts and promise in the service of God’s mission. Though our time together has been brief, I will forever cherish you and my time as pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church. Therefore, I will grieve deeply in response to my leave-taking.
This letter announcing my resignation is being sent also to the Bishop’s Office of the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod, who will be in contact with Resurrection Congregation leaders about next steps during this time of transition. The Congregation Council and I, in consultation with the Bishop’s Office and leaders at Faith Church in Phoenix, will determination the timeline for the coming weeks and the official termination date of our time together. Thus, additional information is forthcoming.
While our paths are separating, we are nonetheless undertaking together a leap of faith into God’s promised future and whatever is in store for us. May we be emboldened to claim the grace-filled promise expressed in Dag Hammarskjöld’s brief prayer, a prayer that helped draw me to Resurrection Church and a prayer that continues to inform next steps in the life of faith and of service: “For all that has been, thanks; for all that is to come, yes.”
May God in Christ continue to lead and guide us in the power of the Spirit,
Pastor Jonathan Linman