Author Topic: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"  (Read 5121 times)

Steven Tibbetts

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No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« on: January 20, 2019, 10:17:03 PM »
Note: The subject title is inspired by a description I used on this Forum years ago.

Following Holy Communion this morning, a Special Meeting of the Congregation of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Peoria, Illinois, adopted a resolution to formally dissolve the congregation once its assets have been properly disposed of.  This is the conclusion of several discussions and actions over the last year.  Earlier in November the Congregation had voted that Zion's final worship services would be January 27, 2019.

Initially established as a mission parochial and Sunday School for German-speaking residents of Peoria's South Side in 1882, the congregation organized in 1894 and joined the Iowa Synod.  I have served as Zion's 13th pastor since 1992.

Pax et bonum, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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JoshuaEM

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2019, 10:21:55 PM »
Bless you for your faithful ministry! Lots of prayers for the future coming from Los Angeles.

D. Engebretson

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2019, 10:56:15 PM »
I can only imagine the bittersweet feelings at this moment.  You have invested well over 20 years in this parish, grown to love and care for its sheep, and now must watch it come to an end.  But that feeling must be even more profound for those who still remember family milestones such as baptisms and weddings within its sacred walls.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Tom McMichael

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2019, 11:00:35 PM »
Steven,

I second Josh’s post! You and the people of Zion are in my prayers. May the Lord bless and keep you all as you begin new chapters of life and ministry.

Tom
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 11:31:49 PM by Tom McMichael »
Fr. Tom McMichael
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Michael Slusser

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2019, 12:02:11 AM »
Thank you for letting us know. You have been a zealous and caring pastor, if I may judge by the way you have shown those characteristics on this Forum. I'm happy to have met you (in Minneapolis in 2009 at the Bergs' house).

I was a parishioner in a RC parish that was "suppressed" by the bishop (don't you love the ungracious terminology, as compared with Steven's description of what has happened at Zion?  :( ). One action that I realized then was incumbent on the pastor and staff was to see each parishioner/family particularly and talk about what thenceforward would be their church home.

Peace,
Michael
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J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2019, 12:18:42 AM »
Steven, you are named for the servant of God and Protomartyr Steven the Deacon, and truly you have lived into fullness of that name.

You have loved and served the people of Zion; having once loved and served a people called by that same name for a similar span of years the grief and pain becomes quite personal to me.

Almost too late I learned to appreciate--through Orthodox hymnody--that "Zion" is synonymous with Theotokos; and that the people of Zion are tasked by God to be the God-bearers to their community.

Now as they face diaspora, the challenge--and the opportunity--to live into their name will be greater than ever before.

May sheep and shepherd alike go forth with courage in the peace of the Good Shepherd!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 12:23:10 AM by J. Thomas Shelley »
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John_Hannah

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2019, 10:31:14 AM »
Note: The subject title is inspired by a description I used on this Forum years ago.

Following Holy Communion this morning, a Special Meeting of the Congregation of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Peoria, Illinois, adopted a resolution to formally dissolve the congregation once its assets have been properly disposed of.  This is the conclusion of several discussions and actions over the last year.  Earlier in November the Congregation had voted that Zion's final worship services would be January 27, 2019.

Initially established as a mission parochial and Sunday School for German-speaking residents of Peoria's South Side in 1882, the congregation organized in 1894 and joined the Iowa Synod.  I have served as Zion's 13th pastor since 1992.

Pax et bonum, Steven+

STEVEN

Blessings to you and Zion and thanks for your faithful ministry in Peoria. You give the Lutheran ministry a good name; it's an honor to be your pastoral colleague. I pray that you will find your next ministry as fulfilling.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2019, 10:40:41 AM »
Built on a rock...

Thank you for your service. The disappointment is tough to take, but all too common a situation these days. Hope endures with the Promise, though.

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2019, 11:04:21 AM »
you were and are always pastor to a larger church, perhaps you know that even more at the moment ... enjoy any freedom from heavy responsibilities you might get before you answer the call to be faithful in another portion of the Shepherd's pasture...  may Christ bless all your life and living...
Harvey S. Mozolak
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http://lineandletterlettuce.blogspot.com

Dan Fienen

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2019, 11:26:14 AM »
It is a sad day when church doors close.  Thank God for the years of service to the Christians who have been a part of Zion and to the community in which you lived.  This will also end a chapter in your ministry.  Are you going to be OK, Pr. Tibbets?  Has any provision been made for your well being as you transition to what God has next in mind for you?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2019, 11:40:08 AM »
God bless you and your flock.
Pete Garrison, STS

Charles Austin

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2019, 12:22:36 PM »
It is sad when churches close; and I have watched several do so over the years. However, congregations - like the people in them - have "lives," that is, they are born, they mature, they age and they die. We don't always know how long this will take, but it is the life cycle of congregations.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Say what you will about polls, but all current polls show that a significant majority of Americans agree with the things I have been saying in this modest form.

David Garner

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2019, 12:55:34 PM »
I'm sorry to hear this Pastor Tibbetts.  Thank you for your faithful service.  You and your parish will be in our prayers.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Keith Falk

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2019, 12:56:55 PM »
It is sad when churches close; and I have watched several do so over the years. However, congregations - like the people in them - have "lives," that is, they are born, they mature, they age and they die. We don't always know how long this will take, but it is the life cycle of congregations.


At funerals, do you tell the caregiver of the deceased similar words?  Can you not simply let grief be expressed, to mourn with those who are mourning?
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Eileen Smith

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Re: No Longer "Skating Close to the Edge"
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2019, 12:59:19 PM »
The people at Zion have been blessed to have such a faithful pastor as we are blessed by your faithful presence on this Forum.  God be with you, Pastor Tibbetts in these difficult days.