the Reverend James L. Friesner, Jr. Pastor
Augustana & Zion Lutheran Churches
"Dear Jim, What a privilege it was for me to be able to participate in the dedication of the new building for the Bread of Life congregation. These kinds of experiences are always important for the whole church. It is always good whenever we can celebrate God's faithfulness and goodness together.
Additionally, I would want to respond to the fine, and exceptional job, that you did in leading the congregation into the vision, and the realization, of such an excellent building. Being a liturgical purest myself, I really appreciate your comment regarding your collaboration with Pastor Joan about the space. As I am sure you know, this is often the point of contention between the architect and the pastor. It was good to hear that this contention does not have to happen.
However, the thing that impressed me even more than the structure, were the words you spoke during the service. I was seated in the front row, almost immediately in front of you; actually just a little to your left, and while I always appreciate hearing our beloved Bishop preach, (he is an exceptional man and very endeared by the people of our synod) I do not believe that I have ever, heard the Gospel more profoundly proclaimed than when I heard you speak the words which you had so carefully chosen.
The love of God is a powerful thing; it changes hearts, it changes lives. Yesterday, you stood in testimony of that. Thank you for daring to break from tradition and share your very up to date experience of who Jesus is, in your life. Thank you for reminding all of us that when Jesus is experienced in our heart, God's love will always be reflective in the living, and in the action, of our daily lives.
I pray God's richest blessings in your life. I wish you continued success in your profession. And, I hope that someday, we will have the opportunity to personally meet."