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Meet Pastor Dan

Pastor Dan Forsgren and his family arrived in North Idaho October, 2014. Dan and Sarah have been married for 19 years, and have three children: Donny, Karis, and William. 

September 2022  

We have lived here for almost 8 years now, and in all that time I have never been to a city council meeting. That is until this past week, the 16th of August to be precise. Following our church council meeting I headed down to the library and made it just in time for the public comment time of the meeting.

 

I had a reason for that particular meeting; if you remember, I believe starting back in March there has been a lot of discussion about invocations at the city council meetings, mostly centered around who has been allowed to offer the invocation before the meetings, and the process to select those individuals. It was at this meeting where the new procedures would be voted on. Procedures that I had an opportunity to be a part of creating.

 

A number of other clergy and myself attended a meeting at city hall at the end of July. We met with two city council members, and the city clerk, and discussed the new criteria that would be put into effect. The group that was gathered was diverse and put serious thought into what was required of the faith communities to be entered into the lottery. I was glad that it passed, I was glad that I spent almost 2 hours watching how the city council meetings were run, that I was able to listen to the business that was addressed that evening, and that I got a glimpse into a part of how our city is managed.

 

But that is not the main point I want to share with you today. Like I mentioned, I made it in time for the public comment, I had hoped to be able to sign up to make comment, but that time had passed. I wanted to speak in favor of what was going to be voted upon later in the meeting, to offer my support of the work that the council had done in creating the new way for faith communities to be able to give those invocations; but instead, I got to listen.

 

I listened to a couple of people who were upset by one thing or another, I heard someone comment on what they thought was some sort of political conspiracy, and I was ready to listen to more folks do more complaining.

 

What surprised me, and what I want to share with you was the number of people who were there to encourage not only the city council, the mayor, and those in leadership roles in our community, but the city itself. There were folks who stood up and talked about how much they love living here and how they want to see CDA leave behind any form of hatred and discrimination. It was heartening to hear these folks share their commitment to a welcoming community, and to hear the applause when they were finished speaking, I got a good look at part of what drew us to this community in the first place.

 

I preach often about the Kingdom of God, about how it is one of those now/not yet things; something we cannot know fully now, but that we get glimpses of. I caught a glimpse of that kingdom last week at that meeting. Is everything perfect? No, of course not. We are after all human, and it is in the fallibility of humanity that we exist. But I left that meeting that night with such a feeling of hope for the future, for the now, that I just had to share it with you.

In Christ,

Pastor Dan Forsgren