Dear members of Immanuel,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1.2-6).
It has been my joy and privilege to serve as Kantor at Immanuel for the past six years. I have enjoyed playing the organ, directing the choir, organizing soloists and small ensembles, working with instruments, praying the liturgy, preaching the Gospel, and serving in different ways with many of you at Immanuel.
I have greatly enjoyed serving at a parish that sings so well during Divine Service, and is well acquainted with a wide range of hymns from the early church, through the heritage of the Reformation, to our own day.
For the last several years, I have been pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Ball State University. I have made the difficult decision to leave Immanuel to complete this degree this year, to serve an internship this summer, and to pursue full-time employment in that field in the future. Lord willing, I will find a community with a parish where I can also serve as a part-time Pastor or Kantor.
I am thankful to Pastor Sutton and the Board of Deacons for the opportunity to serve at Immanuel. It was a wonderful fit and afforded me a joyous time of service in the church. I will especially miss the wonderful acoustics of the Nave at Immanuel.
I would like to thank all those who support Immanuel and made it possible for me to serve here. I am especially thankful for the dedicated members of the choir for their excellent work: Peter Bertermann, Joe and Emily Eckardt, Faith Fenner, Rachel Gibbens, Chelsea Osfansky, Hailey Schulz, Kristin Schulz, Mandy Schulz, Karie Sutton, Noah Sutton, Jodi Tate, Kathy Todd, Conner and Emily Walts; to our instrumentalists: Marshall Rector, Noah Sutton (trumpet); Adam Sutton (trombone); Arlington Hayne (baritone); Chelsea Osfansky, Conner Walts (flute); Andrew Jacobson (violin); and Pearson Tate (timpani); and to all who have sung as part of the children’s choir and as soloists or in small groups.
Church music assists in an important way in the proclamation of the Gospel through liturgy and hymns. Church music accentuates our Reformation heritage of Lutheran doctrine and theology and handing over the faith once delivered to the saints. I have enjoyed leading this responsibility at Immanuel and thank you for the opportunity.
Though it is difficult to say good-bye, I am thankful for our time together. I ask for your prayers as I depart to begin a new endeavor in my life, even as I will remember you in my prayers. My time at Immanuel has been unforgettable, and I pray Our Lord’s continued blessing on the Preaching of the Gospel, the administration of the Sacraments, and the singing of the Good News of Salvation in Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection from the grave to give the forgiveness of sin.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3.20).