This morning we welcome the Reverend Thomas Hartley, senior pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Palm City. Pastor Tom will be presiding and preaching at worship today while Pastor Maryanne is presiding and preaching at Immanuel in Palm City. It is what we call a “pulpit” swap, where a pastor from one congregation will “swap” places with a pastor from another congregation for Sunday worship. But it really more than a “pulpit” swap for us at Living Faith. It is our chance to say thank you for the gift of the God’s people at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Without Pastor Tom, Tuck Aacker, George Brunkhorst, Ed Williams and many other leaders, as well as all the faithful disciples at Immanuel, we would not be here today.
The members of Immanuel under the leadership of Pastor Tom are always focused on God’s mission to spread the Gospel message, the Good News found
in Jesus Christ. Back in late 2007, a team was pulled together to assist in reaching God’s people in and around the Tradition community and so through their hard work, dedicated financial support, prayers and discernment, Living Faith Church became a mission start worshiping community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The people of Immanuel are indeed teaching us what it means to be good and faithful stewards (managers) of God’s gifts, and we have a wonderful model to follow as we too will one day be able to assist in the birthing of a new congregation.