By Pastor Blair Lundborg, assistant to the bishop
Discernment. It’s hard work. It’s messy. It’s not always crystal clear, which is how I would prefer it to be.
In my discernment leading up to the decision to retire there were many factors that played into the internal debate. There were also many reasons not to retire. I’ll spare you the lengthy wrangling that I’ve had with the committee that meets in my head. You’ve had the same conversations with God and yourself. So, let’s keep this simple.
It is time. Time to step down. Time to step aside. Time to do something different. What that something is, I’m not sure. But it’s time. As you know all too well, ministry is not a typical job. We don’t even talk about it in those terms. Instead, we use the language of “call”. Sometimes it is a clarion call to stay the course, even when it’s hard. Other times it is a gentle nudge to let go. Often it is a mixture of both. That’s what it has been for me.
As I submit my retirement announcement and resignation I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Assistant to the Bishop.
November 1, 2018
Bishop Michael Rinehart
12941 I-45 North Freeway #210
Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, ELCA
Houston TX 77060-1243
Dear Bishop Rinehart:
It has been one of the greatest honors of my ministry to serve on your staff in the Gulf Coast Synod. I am grateful for your faithful leadership, support and encouragement in our work together.
With gratitude and joy, after prayer and careful discernment, I announce my retirement on June 1, 2019. As we have discussed, a period of overlap and training with my successor will facilitate a smooth transition on the Bishop’s staff. I will resign upon completion of my successor’s training but no later than my retirement date.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve with you throughout your second term as Bishop. Your leadership is an inspiration to me and the pastors and members of the Gulf Coast Synod. In my work with congregations in transition, the preparation of candidates for ministry, and the accompaniment of our first call ministers, I have also been blessed by countless leaders and lay people who have demonstrated the power of Christ’s love in their lives, ministry and congregations.
Blair Lundborg, Assistant to the Bishop