With all the members of Peace Lutheran Church, it is with mixed emotions that I heard the news that Pastor Michael Klatt will be leaving Columbus to minister to the people of his home congregation in Minnesota. I am happy for him, but he will be greatly missed, not only by the members of Peace Lutheran Church, but by so many members of the Columbus community.
Pastor Klatt has that special ability to make anyone and everyone feel at home in his presence. His friendly smile has always made me feel welcome. I’ve had the privilege of hearing him preach at funerals, weddings and other special occasions, and was always touched by his sincerity and love for the Lord.
As pastors, we have the special privilege of getting to know people in a way in which most others cannot. Parishioners often share their crosses, trials, worries and concerns, even the secrets of their lives which they thought they could never share with another human being, and in so doing, form special relationships with their pastor. For this reason, when a pastor leaves a parish to move on to another, it’s a wrenching experience both for the pastor and for parishioners. It is also a difficult time for a new pastor to come into a parish, adjust to new surroundings, and for parishioners to build up that same kind of trust and confidence they had with their former pastor.
Thank you, Pastor Klatt, for your many years of service to the Columbus community. You truly have touched the lives of so many people, not only at Peace Lutheran, but throughout the Columbus community. We wish you well as you return to your home parish, and assure you of our prayers.
I would also like to add one word of caution: In Luke’s Gospel 4:14-30, when Jesus returned to Nazareth where he was reared and preached his first sermon, the people became so upset they wanted to throw him over the edge of a cliff. I hope the terrain around your home town in Minnesota is level and try not to be too stern when delivering your first sermon there!
I assure you of my prayers and also the members of Peace Lutheran!
Fr. Joe Miksch, Pastor of St. Isidore Church, Columbus
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