“A message from Pastor Andy DeGier”
Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus from Christ Lutheran Church,
Just like you, I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Pastor Weiland. I know that he was very special to all of you. What a blessing it must have been to be fed by the Gospel for so many years through his sermons and Bible studies. I know that many of you considered him a great friend, like a part of your family. I know that his death has probably come as quite a shock to many of you. Maybe you have been left with a lot of questions, but I’d like to share some comforting thoughts from God’s Word with you.
First of all, it’s good to look at this from Pastor Weiland’s point of view. I know he had plenty of blessings in his life. I know that he loved to spread the gospel and build up God’s kingdom. I know that he was blessed with a great family and lots of friends who must have brought much joy to his life. But what does the Bible tell us? It tells us that departing and being with Christ “is better by far.” (NIV® 84) It tells us that our death is a great victory. Any pain or problems Pastor Weiland faced are now gone. For all the times of joy he had in this life, none of them can even compare to the great joy he has with his Savior right now. Pastor Weiland’s ministry was all about telling people about Jesus all so they could one day taste the glory of heaven, and that is what he is enjoying right now.
But what about us? What about his congregation? What about his family? It’s not going to be easy. He is going to be greatly missed. Unfortunately, because we live in a fallen, sin-stained world, tragic situations like this happen. We all have to face pain and problems and death. The great news is that because of Christ’s victory on the cross and at the empty tomb, God turns even our problems into blessings for us Christians. Pastor Weiland’s death was transformed into a great victory by Christ, and that will be true for us as well. In the meantime, God has promised to use everything in our lives for our good. He uses even tough circumstances to strengthen and preserve us in our faith, and he doesn’t leave us alone as we face them. He promises to be with us, to never leave or forsake us, to give us the strength to endure the tough things we face in life.
As uncertain as the future of the congregation may seem, God has everything under control. He knows exactly how he plans to keeping feeding each and every one of your faiths with his Word. He knows exactly how he wants to use each one of you to continue to spread his Word and to build up his kingdom. Every promise he has ever given you to watch over you and preserve you in faith is still valid. He is faithful and will keep every single one. God’s blessings to all of you. I will keep you in my prayers and will try to do my best to help you through this time of transition. If anyone would like to talk to me more about Pastor Weiland’s death or needs the services of a pastor for any reason whatsoever, please contact me. I can be reached in the following ways: 920-471-1770 (cell), 715-536-6588 (home), email@example.com.
Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Andy DeGier