Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Thomas,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Gal. 1:3-5)
Yes, to the Lord Jesus Christ, be all glory now and forever, Amen. On Friday, March 29, The Search Committee and the Vestry of St. Thomas’ Wharton was led by the Holy Spirit to extend to me the call to be Rector.
I have been truly humbled and honored by the extension of this call. Humbled, because no man or woman is worthy of the calling to be a rector (pastor). Yes, no man or woman is worthy and yet Christ calls men and women into this office to bring to the Church what she needs. The Church needs Christ, and that is what the pastor/rector is to bring to the congregation: Christ in His Word and Christ in His Sacraments, Christ given for His bride the Church.
I am honored because St. Thomas’ is more than just a ministry to me, for it is a family. You are my Brothers and Sisters in Christ and what God has done through you here is truly amazing. I am honored to be asked to be a part of St. Thomas’ future. I am also honored to be listed with the Godly men and women who have served this church in the past. I sincerely thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve Christ with you. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Interim Rector, The Rev. Kenneth Dimmick, for all the transitional service given with such commitment and faithfulness. Thank you very much for your compassionate love, service and time!
I have prayed with my wife and through the guiding of the Holy Spirit I have been led to accept your call to be your Rector. May the Lord continue to guide us by His Holy Spirit as we live out our lives together in Christ calling and service.
With that said, I am writing to announce that July 7th will mark our first Sunday of worship together. I ask for your continued prayers as we move to Wharton and to live our lives together. We know that we will be faced with many challenges and hardships along the way, but we can trust in what the Lord has told us. We can trust that these challenges are used by God to strengthen our faith and so that we will be better able to serve our neighbor.
“Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
Brothers and Sisters, God has given each of us the most precious gift of all, the gift of His Son our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Father has given His Son into death that we might not die eternally. I rejoice in this new call and our continued partnership in the Gospel. May the Lord continue to bless us and our ministry as He has been so generous in His blessings in our past. Yes, St. Thomas’, you know this Word to be true: “For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.” (Ps 117:2)
Your humble servant,
Rev. Michael K. Paul
1 Cor. 16:13-14