I’m sorry that I won’t be with you for Christmas this year! I’ll be visiting my family in Connecticut for the holidays, and while I’m excited, I’m already looking forward to being back with you in the new year.
I’m blessed to have this space to explore what it means to be a pastor in 2022. After service for the past few weeks, many of you have shared the growth you’ve seen in me, and I couldn’t have asked for a more a supportive congregation cheering me along as I learn what it means to bring my authentic self to St. Peter’s.
Associate Pastor Dakota Roberts, Head Pastor Lori Bievenour, and Student Pastor Vickey Allen in prayer before an Advent service.
While I’ve only been with y’all since August, I know that many things have changed for you over the past two and a half years. When you returned to in-person worship in June 2021, you came back to one service instead of two, which is an adjustment that brings both the discomfort of change and the chance to create new relationships with other people at St. Peter’s. Pastor Becca left in January 2021, and Pastor Dakota started in October 2021. (He had been here less than a year when I started!) Over the pandemic, longtime members either passed or moved away while new people discovered St. Peter’s through online worship. This season of saying goodbye and saying hello has lasted for quite a while.
Like churches around the country, St. Peter’s is in a time of discovery, figuring out what it looks like to be the church as Covid works its way from pandemic to endemic. You are a church dedicated to sharing God’s extravagant welcome with everyone in a variety of ways. Some of the things that come to my mind: fellowship opportunities like the Munch and Mingle in September, Dine with Nine groups, and the retreat in October; educational programs like this fall’s Our Faith, Our Vote program; and reaching out to the community through participating in various Pride celebrations, taking all of the tags from the Giving Tree, and caroling just two weeks ago. There are so many other ways St. Peter’s has been exploring how to be church in our new reality—it would take too long for me to list them all!
I’m so excited to continue this growth, both in my vocational journey and as a church community, this spring. I pray that you all are blessed this Christmas in whichever way you most need, and I look forward towards being with you in 2023!
Student Pastor Vickey
Your pastors are available for conversation and/or visit. Simply be in touch.
Lori Bievenour, lori at stpeterscarmel dot org, or 317-846-6882, x222
Dakota Roberts, dakota at stpeterscarmel dot org, or 317-846-6882, x223