The unconditional love of God, revealed profoundly in Jesus, is the foundation of my faith and ministry. As a pastor, my response to God’s love includes a desire to offer the people I serve an unhurried presence of companionship. Indeed, if I could choose one word to describe my ministry it would be “with.” It is an awesome privilege to accompany people in times of crisis and a pleasure to laugh long with those whose lives are wound around mine. When I consider what I enjoy most about parish ministry, the names of people in my congregations come quickly to mind. These and many other saints have enriched my life in countless ways. Simply put, my admiration and affection for the people I have served are deep.
Over these years of ministry, I have tried to nurture the spiritual lives of people of all ages. Through preaching and teaching, I aim to connect the ancient words of Scripture with the lives of those gathered. Celebrating the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, I give thanks for the promise of Christ’s abiding presence. Working with church leaders, lay and ordained, I seek to share the joy and responsibility of covenantal ministry. Leading service trips for youth and adults, I hope to grow in others the other-centered love (agape in Greek) that is essential to Christian living. As a leader of leaders, I take seriously the work of peace and justice and am firmly committed to a ministry of hospitality to all people. In our care for others, we see clearly the image of God in each person. In our outreach to those whose needs are great, we express clearly the good news that God is with us; God’s love is alive and on the loose in the world.
On my office wall, beside the door, there is a framed verse of Scripture that offers me a daily reminder. The words are Christ’s as remembered in the Gospel of Luke: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required” (12:48). As I recall the hills and valleys of my life’s path, my eyes fill with appreciation for the way God’s grace has invited me to share my vision, passion, and abilities with the people of Christ’s church. I have been given so much more than I could possibly give away. With praise, the lump in my throat says, “Thank you, God.” With faith, my prayer remains: “Christ, show me the way and grant me the courage to follow.”
Rev. Andrew Nagy-Benson