Greetings from Rev. Anna

January 3, 2023

Dear Friends,

In just a few weeks I will be joining you in ministry and fellowship. This time for me is always one of sadness and joy as I say goodbye to one beloved congregation and anticipate the blessings that come from meeting new friends and joining with a new family of faith. I look forward to meeting you and hearing the stories of your faith journey, and I look forward to sharing my faith journey with you. I also look forward to seeing how God will help each of us grow in faith and lead us onto new paths of service.

It seems fitting that we start our journey at the beginning of a new year. I know this past year has been one that contained much sadness, but I hope that there have been many moments of joy along the way as well. I also hope that as you celebrated the 200th anniversary of your church’s existence, you were able to see how God’s faithfulness had been with your congregation throughout the centuries - through the challenges and the hardships there must have been much faith and joy that encouraged the members to continue in faithful worship and service to our loving and generous God. I know that God is with you and will continue to encourage and direct all of us as we look to the future and all that God has planned for this coming year.

To share just a bit of who I am, I am originally from New Jersey, but God called me to be, in a sense, an itinerant preacher/pastor. I have served as a chaplain in hospital and hospice settings, taught overseas in the Middle East and Africa, and served in several congregations as an interim pastor. In each place I have been richly blessed, made many friends who became family, and hopefully was a blessing to each of the people that I met and ministered to. I know those same rich and blessed relationships will happen between us as well.

I will be bringing with me my three-legged pup, Trinity, who is actually 2 years old now. She had a rough start in life and is extremely shy, but she will frequently be joining me in the office during the week. I hope that if you have time you will stop in to meet her and to say hi. My door is always open and you are always welcome.

I will also have with me my half hairless cat, Amarte. He, too, had a rough start to life and was severely burned on one side of his body, but he is loving and sweet and has never met a stranger. He will greet you with a rub against your leg.

I also have two adult children. My daughter, Carissa, is a student at Purdue. She is studying computers. I am looking forward to being able to see her a little more frequently than I’ve been able to do from Florida. My son, Elijah, is in the Navy and stationed in Sasabo, Japan. He is also taking college courses and is majoring in accounting. I haven’t seen him since he left for Japan three years ago. I thank God each week for the invention of FaceTime, so I can still see his beautiful face as we talk.  I hope to finally get to Japan in the new year. They, of course, are God’s greatest blessing to me.

I hope that each of you were able to experience the peace and the hope that is found in our Lord, Savior’s birth; and may the New Year be filled with abundant blessings and joy.

In Christ,
Rev. Anna von Winckler