Following a new call

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ;

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It is with a jumble of emotions, and a heavy heart that I am writing to you all. I have accepted a new call to serve as a Senior Pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Oakdale, Minnesota. This means that I will be resigning as your pastor as of October 6, 2019. 

I have struggled with my own selfish feelings of wanting to remain a pastor here...while discerning where God was calling me to be. I believe the Holy Spirit is leading me to Holy Cross. My ministry begins there on October 8; the Tuesday after returning from Greece. My last day in the office will be September 19 with the 14th & 15th my last weekend in worship.

I want you all to know that I was not seeking a change. Those who reached out to me have hopes of revitalizing a church that was in decline. My time in the fertile soil of FLC has prepared me to share your passion for ministry with others. I never imagined that I would leave this wonderful faith community. I have grown to love and cherish so many in this place and it breaks my heart to leave. But through prayer, discernment, and conversations with the Bishop, Pastor Kevin, and Jim; I am taking a leap of faith into new ministry.

I am so grateful for all the love you have shown me and the way you have always made Lynette and me feel part of your family. We have been through so many things together and it feels as though a part of me is dying.  And yet, God is about renewal; and even difficult change can bring about healthy growth. You have been so supportive of my slightly skewed pastoral gifts and you have helped me find my own pastoral identity. I am also grateful for Pastor Kevin’s mentorship and guidance. He is a selfless and encouraging ministry partner and I will miss our time in worship together. 

Lastly, I am grateful to you and I trust that you will welcome a new dynamic pastor with the same grace that you welcomed me five years ago. I am confident that Farmington Lutheran Church will continue to be strong and bold in its proclamation of the Gospel; with words, with deeds, and with the welcoming way you care for this community. 

I came here as a raw recruit, and the pastor I have become is a result of all the amazing people I have encountered here. I love engaging in the ministry of this place; I was so jazzed to enter this fall with all of our plans; there are so many things we have done…and there are so many things that I didn’t get to do. And many things I never figured out how to do well, for that I beg pardon.

Thank you again for your love and encouragement, especially during this difficult summer for me and my mom. I thank you for the gift of being one of your pastors, and I ask forgiveness for the ways I did not live up to expectations. I also ask for your prayers...even as I am praying for you and for the continued vitality of FLC. I am a little afraid to leave; but without risk…many great things are left undone. And there is so much work to do in the Kingdom of God.

May you be encouraged and strengthened by the Holy Spirit through your faith in Christ. God is constantly creating and recreating and I trust that new and awesome things are in store for FLC in the years to come.

Your friend and coworker in the kingdom of God,

Ytsur Rotsap

 

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