Getting to  know each other

Greetings everyone at First Lutheran Pillager and welcome to the month of May. I just want to say first off how grateful and honored I am to be your new pastor. I never imagined that me helping out on Sunday’s would eventually lead to a full time position. That’s how I know God had orchestrated the whole thing. I know I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to pastoral duties, but I appreciate you all and your willingness to be patient as we both go on this journey together.

So since I am new and most of you don’t really know much about me, I figured I would tell you some of my likes and dislikes. I have a three-way tie as far as my favorite activity to do. They are bowling, golf, and fishing. I have been bowling since I could walk and have bowled for St. Cloud State. At one point in my life, I was ranked number two in the state of Minnesota in my age bracket and my name is in the Bowling Hall of Fame.

Golfing is another one of my favorite hobbies. I think I love it so much because it’s a sport where it’s just you competing against the course. I heard a quote that says it’s a sport that can’t be won, only played. I think that’s why I like it so much because it forces me to challenge myself. Also, being in nature is something that brings me great joy.

Which brings me to fishing. What better way to be in nature than relaxing on a boat listening to the birds and being gently rocked by the waves? Sometimes I don’t even care if the fish aren’t biting just as long as I’m out on the water. I know there are many fishermen (and fisher-women) in the congregation which I think is great. Pillager is a wonderful area in the state with many lakes nearby. I feel like I’m going to love it here. 

On the flip side, here are some things I do not like: Spiders. I don’t like them in my house, I don’t like them outdoors, I don’t even like to see a picture of them. I know spiders are great for killing mosquitos (another thing I don’t like) but as long as I don’t see them, it’s okay.

 My next dislike is more of a pet peeve. It gets on my nerves when someone doesn’t use their turn signal when driving. It’s such an easy task to push that little knob up or down to let other drivers know if you’re turning. Don’t worry, I don’t have road rage or anything like that so I won’t run you off the road if I see you not using your blinker. Just know that if I do see you not using your blinker, I’ll grind my teeth and ask you to repent next time I see you at church.

So there are some of my likes and dislikes. Maybe we share some things in common or maybe you’re rolling your eyes thinking “What kind of pastor did we just hire?” But I just want everyone to know who I am and be transparent with you all. And lastly, I want you all to know that above anything else, above my wife, family, friends, is my love for Jesus. He has changed my life in a way only a real, loving God can. And I want to see that same change happen for all of you in the congregation. Even the whole town of Pillager and beyond. That is why my greatest passion is growing in my relationship with Him and helping others do the same.

 “Be a blessing and you will be blessed.” 

                  - Pastor Mathew Sundquist