Dear Members of Bethel Lutheran Church,
On August 28th, the voters of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Elmhurst, Illinois voted to call me to serve as their Senior Pastor. Having a call to serve at Immanuel and a call to serve here at Bethel, I asked for your prayers and your feedback as I deliberated this call. I have been truly touched by your prayers and your willingness to submit to God’s will for me and my family, whichever way he directed us.
After prayerful consideration, I have been led to accept the call to serve as Senior Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Elmhurst, Illinois. Please know that this decision in no way represents a negative reflection on Bethel. In fact, it is quite the contrary. You have demonstrated such spiritual maturity, such a kingdom perspective and such ownership of the ministry that I felt free to consider fostering those very things in another place.
Let me express my deepest love for all of you. For 11 years we have grown together, laughed together and cried together. You have been my family’s family. We followed Jesus together, sharpening one another along the narrow way. You created a nurturing environment for me to see the teachings of Jesus anew and share them with you and with others. You tolerated stick figures and arrows. You let me try crazy ideas like GodSpeak and WaterLife. You let me make mistakes, and loved me through my growing pains. You’ve welcomed the foreigner and loved the lonely. I will be forever grateful for my formative years here and the great privilege it has been to be called as the pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church.
Yet, the calling to Immanuel has become abundantly clear. God has used our work together these 11 years to uniquely prepare me to serve him in Elmhurst, Illinois and the greater Chicago area. I have peace and a strong sense of calling. It truly is the answer to your prayers, even if it was not your preference. I believe an exciting new chapter awaits both churches. Let us continue to pray that God’s will be done and that his kingdom come. Amen!
Rev. David Seabaugh