In a number of Paul’s epistles he says that he gives thanks to God for the people of the church to whom he is writing. The specific reasons vary a little, but the core reason is the same. He is thankful to God for the faith that He has given them that is evident in their lives. I want you members of the Trinity family of faith to know, I thank God for you!
Three years ago you called me to come to Trinity and serve as your called pastor. I suspect that the Call committee was looking at myself and others from the perspective of what could each of us bring to Trinity and would it be a good fit for the church. I was looking at it in much the same way, as well as considering whether it was time for me to ask to be released from my current call (in California) and accept a new one to Trinity. There were some personal matters mixed in with these considerations as well. What I had not really considered was what God had in store for me and my family being ministered to and served by Trinity! Actually, I should have had a clue when Trinity extended a call to me at the age of 61 with a wife suffering from terminal cancer. By most standards, I was not a prime candidate to select. But, since we arrived Trinity has been enormously loving and caring for me and my family. I thank God for you!
I guess I’m sharing this now because of all that has happened in the past year or so. We’re approaching the first anniversary of Ruth Ann’s call to heaven on October 20th. Throughout the difficult days of her fight with cancer, you were always there for her and for Tristan and I. Moving back to Western New York presented a bonus in that it brought us closer to both of our families and the support they offered as well. Being close to Ruth Ann’s mother was a very special blessing and support for her. But, so was Trinity! Your prayers, cards, visits, food and loving care were, and still are, a blessing. Throughout this past year of getting used to life without my wife, battling cancer myself and dealing with additional dental complications, you have been very caring and supportive. I truly thank God for all of you, your prayers and your support.
As I look back over the past year I’m tempted to want to flush it away and put it all behind me. Certainly the loneliness and sense of loss have been challenging. And, going through three surgeries have been no picnic either! But if I could somehow make it all go away, I’d be ignoring all the ministering that Trinity has offered to me. I’ve wondered at times if God called me to West Seneca to serve you, or whether it was for you to minister to me! Actually, I suppose, it is both – and neither. God called me to serve Him. God has called all of us at Trinity and in His church to serve Him. We serve Him, however, as we serve one another. As a pastor, of course, I am called to serve and minister with, among and to you. It has been a privilege and an honor to do so. And, I am so blessed by you and thank God for your faithfulness to Him in serving me and many others!
I know that October is traditionally “Pastors’ Appreciation” month. It’s a time when church members are encouraged to express appreciation for their pastor. From a different perspective, please know that I am one pastor who truly appreciates all of you!
~ Pastor Dennis Krueger