Ministry News

Greetings! Over the past week, I've been sharing some big news with the congregation I serve in Stewartville - as well as with family and friends. And now I'd like to share it with all of my blogging pals and readers.

I've accepted a new pastoral call to serve as a Southeastern Minnesota Synod staff member in Rochester in the Director of Communications position. I am thrilled about this exciting opportunity. The last 4.5 years of parish ministry at Zion have been a gift and a treasure. The people of this congregation and community are a blessing beyond words. I've shed many tears of gratitude in the past week.

As a side note, I will be continuing on with "The Lady Pastor" column in the Post-Bulletin on Wednesdays. Very thankful that opportunity can continue.

My last Sunday at Zion will be February 23; please be here if you can and you're in the area. I'll be working up at Assisi Heights in Rochester starting in early March.

Here's the letter that went out to the congregation. Thanks be to God for all the ways the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives!

400 NE 5th Ave,  P.O. Box 38,  Stewartville, MN  55976
(507) 533-4283     www.zion-stewartville.org

January 23, 2014

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ at Zion Lutheran Church,

What a joy it has been to journey together in faith over the past 4.5 years! It has been a genuine privilege to serve as your Associate Pastor. You welcomed me as a first-call pastor right out of seminary, and you taught me what following Jesus is all about.

I have an update to share. A new chapter in ministry is ahead for me. I have accepted the call to serve as Director of Communications for the Southeastern Minnesota Synod. I received the invitation to join the synod staff from Bishop Steve Delzer. After a time of prayer and discernment, I feel led to accept this ministry opportunity. I have therefore submitted my resignation to the Church Council.

As Associate Pastor at Zion, I have been able to experience the depth and breadth of parish ministry. My heart is filled with gratitude for all the ways I have seen the Holy Spirit at work among you on Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings and every other day of the week. Working with the staff members of Zion has been a great joy of my life! It has been a true gift from God to work alongside such a compassionate, thoughtful, and dedicated crew. 

In my new role, I will use my love of writing and all forms of communication on a daily basis. God is at work in exciting ways throughout the 176 congregations of our synod. A key part of my job will be equipping and empowering congregations to tell their stories. I will be visiting churches throughout the synod on a regular basis.

My last Sunday with you will be February 23, 2014. After this date I will no longer be available for weddings, funerals, baptisms or other pastoral acts for Zion. This practice is a common tradition throughout the Lutheran church. It is meant to be a gesture of support and courtesy toward your current and future pastoral staff. Please know that you will remain in my prayers.

In the coming weeks, if you would like to get together for coffee or a visit, please email me or call the church office. It would be wonderful to sit down together and rejoice in the blessings of these years. You have taught me so much about the sincere joys of congregational life.

Zion will now be entering into a time of transition. The Holy Spirit is near. I ask for your prayers and support for the congregation’s leadership and for this phenomenal church staff. God is at work among you now and will continue to guide this family of faith as you journey forward. May the Holy Spirit fill your heart with peace and guidance as you step into this new chapter.

In hope and deep gratitude,

Pastor Emily Carson


  1. I'm glad that you are still a part of SE MN ministry. Will you still keep your job at the Post-Bulletin? Love reading your column

  2. What wonderful words and gifts and blessings!!!