Maranatha Says Good-bye to Pastor Kuhnert

January 17, 2015 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

IMG324Sunday, January 11th, at St. Philip Lutheran Church, our covenant partners, Maranatha Lutheran congregation, said an emotional good-bye to their pastor of nine years—Pastor Peter Kuhnert and his family. As well we celebrated the baptism of Jesus on this day of the church year.


IMG328Our greeters, members of Maranatha and two of Pastor Peter’s daughters


Pastor Peter`s wife, Pastor Karen Kuhnert, assisted with the service, with Bishop Michael Pryse, of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on hand for the ceremony of release.  Pastor Peter welcomed Pastor Claudine Carlson, interim pastor for St. Philip, to say a few words in introduction. She will also be doing a communion service once a month for Maranatha as part of her work here.

And though Pastor Peter has been pastor of Maranatha and not St. Philip, we have shared the space and celebrate Lenten services and supper together as well as Christmas Eve and Black History Month services, and thus we have gotten to know both him and his family. I might add that my brief time on the liaison committee has helped with that too.



Member of the Starlite Steel Band played as members and guests entered the sanctuary and again during communion. (photo: S. Fletcher)



Emmanuel George, Faith Life rep gives a contribution to Sharon Heeralall, council chair of Maranatha. (Photo: S. Fletcher)


The service opened with remarks from Pastor Peter and Sharon Heeralall, council chair of Maranatha, who welcomed all in attendance and gave an emotional and heartfelt thanks to Pastor Peter on behalf of their congregation.

Bishop Pryse, in his brief remarks, called on his memories as a child of this congregation (St. Philip), the first baptized at St. Philip, and promised support to Maranatha Lutheran as they move forward. “We will walk forward together, celebrate the sweetness even among the bittersweet.”

The singing was joyful and mixed with tears too, as Maranatha said good-bye. We go forward together—St. Philip and Maranatha—knowing that Jesus Christ is with us and that God holds our futures.

In his sermon, Pastor Peter recounted his time and various events with his congregation.  He reminded us that “every day we are washed in God’s blood” and that “Baptism is a day of endings and beginnings.” … “Thank you to Maranatha for inviting me into your sacred spaces.”  In reflection on the past year and a half in covenant partnership, Pastor Peter added, “Thank you also to St. Philip for welcoming us into your building.”


_SYL5372Serving communion (Left to right) Pastor Peter, Pastor Karen, Bishop Michael Pryse, Violet (member of Maranatha) (photo: S. Fletcher)


_SYL5399-Maranatha uses the individual cups for communion wise as do some other congregations in our wider church  (photo: S. Fletcher)


_SYL5408-Pastor Peter with his family and the Bishop and member of Maranatha congregational council (photo: S. Fletcher)


_SYL5495Katarina greeting along with her father, mother and the Bishop  (photo: S. Fletcher)


_SYL5314-Greeters at closing of service: Pastor Peter, Bishop Michael Pryse, Pastor Karen Kuhnert  (photo: S. Fletcher)

[ Personal note: Soon after returning home I learned that the first great grandchild of my friend Karleen in Colorado was baptized this same day.]



Photos © Sylma Fletcher at Link, by her gracious permission. Other photos © C. Wilker



Entry filed under: church, community, culture, faith, photography, relationships, sacrifice, season of the church year, seasons, speaking. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Winter is here now, for sure A Canadian Winter

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