This month I gave the LuMin in St. Cloud board notice of my resignation. My official last day will be May 31st.
Over my nearly five years as campus pastor, I have frequently and proudly introduced myself as bi-vocational, both pastor and stay-at-home mom. For nearly five years these two vocations of mine have lived together in harmony. The Covid-19 crisis has brought a startling end to that arrangement.
As St. Cloud State University entered its second and then third week of spring break while at the same time my children’s school closed, and then both education institutions launched distance learning for their student bodies, my life changed dramatically. As a pastor, it felt like the ministry had left as students returned home. As a mother of a kindergartner and a 1st grader and a wife of a community pharmacist, my work at home suddenly became much more demanding and crucial. Since opening schools on all levels looks like it will be a slow and tricky endeavor, it seems to me that the ministry to which I was called has reached an end and a new ministry is emerging, one that I cannot venture with because I need to dedicate my attention and care to my children so that their home feels calm, happy, steady, and safe.
Though this is certainly not the way that I thought that this call would end, that does not diminish the gratitude that I have for this call and all the communities that came together in hope around this ministry and welcomed me in. Thank you students! Thank you SCSU faculty and staff! Thank you St. Cloud community! Thank you Great River Conference! Thank you Southwestern Minnesota Synod! Thank you LuMin Network! In different ways and different places we have come together to dream, to lament, to laugh, to study, to worship, to rest, to play, to pray, and to try and try again. I am grateful to have shared those moments with you. As my first call, this is the place that I officially became a pastor. You have been a part of the group of people who has helped form me into a pastor that is always looking to make a faith in Christ more accessible and personal. I thank you for your support and commitment.
I think one of the hardest things about leaving a call now is being unable to say good-bye in the ways that we all are accustomed to and yearn for. Information about ways to say good-bye in digital spaces will be announced as they are arranged. If you are so moved, cards or emails are always a lovely way to reach out. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me or the LuMin in St. Cloud board president, Marcia Kleven, at email@example.com.
In faith, hope, and love,
Pastor Courtney Young