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Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (May 2018)

posted May 7, 2018, 7:25 AM by Russell D. Hampton   [ updated May 7, 2018, 7:26 AM ]
Quill Pen Notes from the Pastor

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Hello! I’m excited to be here as the called pastor of the Punxsutawney Area Lutheran Parish.  It’s been an exciting few weeks already as my family and I have gotten through the unpacking process and have started to settle into our life here, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

As we begin this time together, I’d like to take a few moments to introduce myself and share a little bit more about myself and how I came to be here.

I grew up on the other side of Pennsylvania, in a suburb of Philadelphia called Souderton. After high school, I bounced around from college to college and job to job for a few years, not certain what I was supposed to be doing with my life, but steadily crossing off things that I was finding out that I wasn’t supposed to be doing.  One night in college, while I was taking a break from writing a paper, God made it abundantly clear to me that I was called to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. After that, it wasn’t necessarily easy, but I knew what I was supposed to be doing.  I graduated college and went to seminary at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, which is where I met my wife, Pastor Sarah Aasheim, who was also a student at Trinity. When we graduated from Trinity, we were assigned to the Western Iowa Synod, where we each were called to churches and served as pastors.  When we started to feel that God was calling us to ministry in other parts of the church, we listed ourselves as open to call in a variety of synods.  Pastor Ben Austin, the pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Reynoldsville and Grace Lutheran Church in Brookville, is a friend of ours, and heard that we were thinking about moving. He suggested that I look at the Punxsutawney Area Lutheran Parish, and after several interviews, a trial preaching session, and a lot of prayer and discernment, I’m pleased to have accepted the call to serve as the parish’s new pastor.

Our family also includes a cat named Skeena and our thirteen-month-old son, Robbie.

I’m excited to be here, and to be your pastor.  Working with the three congregations in the parish is a new experience for me; each of the congregations does things just a little bit differently from the others.  But all three congregations have a lot in common, starting with their long history of working to proclaim the Gospel and to serve God’s people in this part of the world.  I’m looking forward to discovering and celebrating both the differences and things that unite us, and I’m excited to continue to meet and to get to know everyone in the parish, and to learn more about your stories.

I’m excited to see where God is calling us, and I’m excited to be called together with all of you!


Pastor Russ

Pastor Russ