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Last Blog from "The Vic"

May the peace of Christ surround you all. I have never felt more honored to serve a congregation than that of Christ the King. In the year I have served as your Vicar, I have gotten to know you all and I have appreciated the opportunities and the many ways you have given me to serve in different ways. I will forever be grateful and indebted to your congregation for giving me a year of learning that will be unforgettable. I thought I would highlight my favorite moments and memories for you.

Being able to serve as a chaplain and Synodically Authorized Minister last summer was definitely a "baptism by fire" few months! I came straight out of the gait with many hospitalized, many going on hospice, and a funeral within the first week of serving. I cannot be more thankful to the staff at Christ the King for walking with me through those tense times and supporting me when I felt overwhelmed. More than that, I cannot be more thankful to the families who allowed me to walk with them in their vulnerabilities, grief, and times of need. I consider officiating funerals to be one of the greatest honors a clergy can have, and you gave me that honor with trust, patience, and kindness.

The Dunk Tank at the picnic offered me a new unlocked fear: being in a dunk tank and submerged, by surprise, multiple times in a row. Reaffirming my baptism, over and over, especially by small children, initiated me into my role as Vicar and I cannot help but find it as funny as the Holy Spirit probably did.

I was honored with the privilege of Presiding over Holy Communion throughout my internship. As someone who grew up in a denomination that wouldn't allow a woman to even step near the altar, the first time I presided gave me a blessing that I cannot be more thankful for. One of the greatest gifts I will have each week when I am ordained will be the honor of inviting all to the table. Baptizing is something I also look forward to!

Giving a sermon that ended with a standing ovation was not on my internship bingo card, but it affirmed my call, affirmed my authenticity, and above all reminded me of how lucky I was to be called to serve as Vicar at a church that supported me whole-heartedly. It is rare to be in a space where "all are welcome" is an action, rather than a thought.

Teaching the 8th grade class was another blessing I am so grateful for. I am excited to teach again next year in my previous role as Director of Faith Formation for Middle School and High School. Although I was bested by the 8th grade class and ultimately pied in the face, it was a blast to see their curiosity and questions blossom about what we believe as Lutherans. I learned how to make bird noises (that may or may not be accurate...) and embarrass myself freely in front of you all. Flocking was fun and I am so glad that we did it, and so glad there will be an end to pink flamingos hanging out in my office space.

I have an immense gratitude to those who followed along and came to my Giving Context to the Clobber Passages Bible Study. This was something I dreamed of doing before I even started Seminary. To be able to teach you a different perspective and context was incredible and you have helped me to start developing my final capstone project, and hopefully, a published study for the masses to use and enjoy. Although my time is coming to end as your Vicar, I look forward to another year in my previous role and this is not a goodbye. I will continue to serve in whatever capacity I am able to, for as long as I can.

Thank you for allowing me to be authentically me, embracing that authenticity, and trusting me to preach from my heart and passions each Sunday. The Holy Spirit has done amazing things with me this past year and I am so blessed for your willingness to listen.

Finally, I want to thank a few people for walking through this journey with me and supporting me. Pastor Nate was a fantastic supervisor who led me through this year with grace, patience, and compassion. Many interns do not luck out with a Supervisor as willing to allow creativity, an intern to be trusted to shake things up sometimes, or to do many of the things I have been allowed to do and learn this year. Pastor Nate has truly shaped me to be ready to lead when it is my time, and I am so grateful for our time together.

Tina and Sue were instrumental in guiding me when I had no idea which end was up! Without the "Dream Team" by my side, I would have had a much harder time acclimating to the everyday needs of pastoral care and funerals at Christ the King. They also were there as sounding boards when I needed to get opinions, and both were patient and gracious every single day.

My Internship Committee was wonderful and I will truly miss our monthly "check-ins." They walked with me, prayed with me, and shared in my excitement with every new step I took along this journey.

I cannot forget to thank Res-A-Wreck for working on my car and making it safe for me to drive, many times. This ministry is so unique and so needed in the community. This single mom on a tight budget cannot thank you enough for fixing my vehicle and ensuring that it is safe to drive wherever I need to be.

My time here has been so special, so needed, and will be a year that will shape me for the rest of my life as a Pastor. Thank you for your prayers, your patience, your love, and your support over my time at Christ the King as your Vicar. This past year has prepared me for my final step in Candidacy and I continue to ask for your prayers as I prepare for my final

interview to be approved for ordination and my final year of academics at Wartburg Theological Seminary.

I will continue to pray for the new direction you are envisioning. Remember that change can be scary, but change is needed and guided by the Holy Spirit. Trust the process. I have no doubt that Christ the King will find the new normal and thrive in this new vision and direction!

God loves you and so do I.

Vicar Sommer Loar

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