Denise and I are excited to be here at Trinity Lutheran Church. We have been here just a short time, but we enjoy the welcome so many of you extended to us.  It is
amazing how I have returned to the congregation that I grew up in. I was baptized, confirmed, and ordained at Trinity. I also was commissioned with Denise on my ordination day to be sent out as missionaries.

So many of you are responsible for the formation of the faith I have in Jesus Christ. I am deeply grateful to you for teaching me the foundations of faith. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. You taught me the joy of reading the Bible and discovering the presence of Jesus in the many stories that are in the Bible. You helped me stay connected with Jesus in my daily life. Many of you made the stories of the Old Testament come alive for me.

I have great memories of growing up in the church. I am the oldest of eight children, and my Mom and Dad brought us to church every Sunday for worship and for Sunday School. The only times I missed a Sunday was when I had the mumps, chicken pox, measles, or flu.

On the first day in the office, I went upstairs into the nave/sanctuary and sat in one of the pews. It was a peaceful time of giving thanks to God for everything, for what has been, for what is, and for what will be. If you have not sat in the church by yourself sometime, give it a try. It is powerful. While there is still daylight, the stained glass windows are so beautiful and tell a story. I learned how to recognize the voice of the Shepherd in my life through my parents and through many at Trinity.

My favorite Psalm is Psalm 100, which reads, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him; bless his name. For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations.”

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Dan Dahl