Luke and Andrea Roske-Metcalfe are ELCA missionaries in Mexico City. Luke is assistant program dIrector for the ELCA Immersion Program at the Lutheran Center in Mexico City. Andrea is country coordinator for the Young Adults in Global Mission program in Mexico. To support Luke and Andrea, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
As many of you know, I serve as associate pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Mexico City. This past Easter, I celebrated my one-year anniversary of service with the bilingual and multicultural congregation. Needless to say, I have learned a lot during my first year serving as a congregational pastor. I heard in seminary that the first year is always the most difficult because, well, everything is the first! Yes, it has been a memorable year, and I am grateful for the guidance and leadership of a strong church council and head pastor. They continue to guide me through the cultural nuances of living and serving a church in Mexico.
One thing I knew coming into the position of associate pastor in this congregation was the head pastor’s plan to retire. Pastor Alcantara will retire as head pastor of Good Shepherd at the end of October. On Reformation Day, we will not only celebrate the birth of the Lutheran Church, but we will also celebrate his twenty-plus years of serving this community as member, student intern, and pastor. It will be a bittersweet celebration. There is no doubt that he will be missed, but at the same time, the congregation has entered into an exciting period of its life.
Andrea’s ministry as coordinator for the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program continues to keep her busy. Currently she is striking a balance between two worlds: one of goodbyes and another of anticipation. The current volunteers are within a month of completing their year of service. She mourns the volunteers leaving after a year full of ups and downs, growth and development, yet at the same time greatly anticipates where God will take them next. While she continues to accompany the current volunteers through their goodbyes, Andrea also prepares for the arrival of nine new volunteers in late August.
I would like to ask you to pray for Good Shepherd in the coming months, as the congregation seeks to faithfully respond to God’s call to bear witness to God’s life-giving love. For these prayers and all of the support you provide in myriad ways to Andrea, Olivia and to me, I thank you!