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Unexpected community

Light for the Way seriesWe invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Pastor Tom Volker, Founders Ridge

…I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints…"
 Being a pastor, I have led countless Christians in uttering these words as part of a worship service. That’s where the community is self-evident … at least from a pastor’s point of view. It includes everyone in that worship service. These are the people who support what is done by that congregation. These are the people who invited me to their special events. These are the people who I married, baptized and buried.
 
Coming to Founders Ridge to be the campus pastor, I didn’t know what to expect for community. I suspected there would be comradery with fellow employees. What I discovered was an unexpected community of fellow workers and residents. Of course, I was warmly welcomed by the staff and residents when I arrived. However, the welcome persisted days, weeks and months.
 
One of the most surprising examples was an unexpected posting of a newspaper article about my wife. My wife has attended some of the worship services I have conducted here. She has stayed around and talked with many of the residents who have attended worship. Someone recognized her in a newspaper article, cut it out and posted it on a bulletin board for this community to know. This was unexpected and wholly welcomed gesture of love.
 
The community that Christ creates through the Holy Spirit is a mystery. It is not always evident to our eyes and ears. It does exist, even without our personal effort. Yet there are times when it is perceived by our senses, such as when a newspaper article is placed on display, or when we receive notes from fellow staff or residents that share appreciation or when we need help and someone pitches in to help before we even ask. It’s these unexpected moments that remind us that we belong to Christ and each other. That is the mystery of Christian community.

Campus Pastor Tom VolkerPastor Tom Volker has served at Founders Ridge as campus pastor since March of 2022. It has been only a month, but he absolutely loves the team and residents that he gets to be around by the grace of God. Tom served for 23 years as a parish pastor in different capacities at five different congregations in three different states. He and his amazing wife Verna have four children - three boys and a girl - and reside in South Minneapolis. When not at Founders Ridge, Tom is transporting children, reading, enjoying a movie at the theater, cooking or just trying to be grateful for the adventure that this God has placed him on. (Did that sound too preachy? Sorry, old habit.)

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

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