Epistle #70: Outdoor Congregational Meeting, Introducing Pastor Ioan Ittu, Part 3

Dear Congregation,

While the twists and turns of these unprecedented times continue, we remain strong in our convictions as loving Christians, and we look forward to celebrating with you the calling of a new pastor. Madison County has experienced a spike in positive cases of COVID-19 over the past week. To ensure your safety, we are making a small shift in our plans for the congregational meeting to call our next pastor.

We will hold this specially called meeting Sunday, July 12, at 9:45 am. outside our church building in the west parking lot and west lawn.  You may remain in your air-conditioned vehicle or bring a lawn chair to sit on the lawn at 6-feet distancing. We need a quorum of 25 members, and will record the names of all members present. The meeting will be shortened to an opening prayer, brief words from church leaders, the motion, time for questions, and a hand raised vote.

Today is the third installment of epistles introducing you to Pastor Ioan. Also, in today’s message, we have included the meeting presentation and a video greeting from Pastor Ioan. Note that the first two epistle introductions were published June 27 and July 4 and are archived on our website (Stpaullutheran.net) Furthermore, you are welcome to call either Council President Dan Nielsen 515-250-4080 or Call Committee Chair Ann Bartelt 515-418-3565 with any questions you have before the congregational meeting and important vote.  We’re looking forward to seeing you from a safe distance Sunday morning.

Introductory Video Message from Pastor Ioan Ittu. Click https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Lt27ByKZFXy3WzDhXrEc3FXjd3tKXrf-/view?ts=5f05d50a to listen to Pastor Ioan.

Presentation from the Call Committee. Click
https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:2fd67b96-15d8-4c24-8f2c-0397957ea9f5 to see their presentation.

Charge to the Call Committee. Click https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:c8b28208-819e-4e05-aab4-6c31a2b62f8a for the complete document.

Introducing Pastor Ioan Ittu, Part Three
The Congregation Council has accepted the recommendation of the Call Committee to present Pastor Ioan Ittu to the congregation to be called as the next pastor of St. Paul. With excitement for our future, a special meeting of the congregation is set for Sunday, July 12, 9:45 a.m. to present Pastor Ioan to you for a congregational vote to affirm and celebrate his call to St. Paul.

This is the third of a three-part series introducing the congregation to Pastor Ioan Ittu (pronounced you-wan e-too). Part one, serving as an introduction, was published June 27. The second part, published July 4, shared highlights of Pastor Ioan’s leadership skills and energy. Today’s third part focuses on Pastor Ioan’s skills in leading worship and preaching, including the children’s sermon.

The Call Committee believes that Pastor Ioan embodies the description of our new pastor included in the Charge to e Committee from the Congregation Council (January 2020): “This congregation will welcome a pastor who loves the Lord, loves people, has an engaging communication style, and who will enthusiastically embrace this pivotal phase and opportunity for pastoral leadership in the life of the congregation.”

Pastor Ioan’s Worship Leadership and Preaching
The Charge to the Call Committee from the Congregational Council asked the committee to seek someone who

  • Has the ability to inspire and connect people to God’s Word
  • Is skilled at providing practical application of the Word to daily life
  • Respects and values the continuum of Christian theological perspectives represented among members of St. Paul
  • Through preaching, exhibits a strong, vital personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ

Through the discernment process, the Call Committee found that Pastor Ioan

  • Leads prayers at a personal level, strongly connecting to expressed prayer needs
  • Relates biblical lessons to today’s experiences for both adults and children
  • Uses creative ways to express the love of God for the community in worship
  • Enjoys preaching most when he can be interactive with the congregation
  • Addresses children from their perspective with love and honesty

Pastor Ioan is currently serving as a bridge pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in the Los Angeles area. Recently he video recorded a morning message to the preschoolers there. This eleven-minute recording is a good example of Pastor Ioan’s work with children. Also, at Pastor Ioan’s last call where he was an associate pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Hills, Granada,CA, he led a project to record the pastors’ sermons and musical selections to release as podcasts. Here is the link: soundcloud.com There are 35 podcast recordings and about half are examples of Pastor Ioan’s sermons from the past year. Early in the list are three of his sermons dated 2020-12-01, 2020-11-24, and 2020-11-03, which was All Saints Sunday.

We shall formally present Pastor Ioan and address any of your questions at the specially called meeting of the congregation as required in our Constitution (C9.01) which states “Authority to call a pastor shall be in this congregation by at least a two-thirds vote of voting members present and voting at a meeting legally called for that purpose.” Furthermore, 25 voting members shall constitute a quorum (C10.04).  We look forward to your participation in this important step of the call process.

In bringing Pastor Ioan to us, we thank God for His guidance, His wisdom, and His insight. The Call Committee is filled with gratitude for your prayers of encouragement, discernment, and support. Please join all members of St. Paul at the congregational meeting July 12 at 9:45 to hear the presentation followed to the congregational vote.

Ann Bartelt, Chair
Clarice Blanchard                                                       Lonna Nielsen
Don Darling                                                                 Jerry Swanson
Alan Feirer                                                                  Lisa Vossekuil

Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867

Church office phone: 515-462-4270