Meet Pastor Dan
Pastor Dan Forsgren and his family arrived in North Idaho October, 2014. Dan and Sarah have been married for 18 years, and have three children: Donny (16), Karis (12), and William (10).
Leading this Coeur d'Alene congregation includes Sunday morning messages to our children, and all manner of faith formation, including the occasional stint as a Christmas extra!
Let me begin by apologizing that we did not have a newsletter put out for January. With Christmas, schedules, and the overall craziness of 2020, I have to admit, I did not get an article done in time, and it would have been a pretty sparse newsletter. I had been thinking about an article though; one that welcomed in the New Year, that talked about all the potential and possibilities that come with what we have typically thought of as a “clean slate”, a new beginning… what a welcome idea after the year we’ve just had!
Unfortunately, while we do have the New Year ahead of us, we are still tethered to last year. As much as we would like to be able to do a “hard reset” like we can with a cell phone, the truth is that all those things that were anxiety producing about 2020 are still with us. The pandemic is still here. We have the glimmer of hope as the vaccines are being rolled out, yet we are still waiting to turn that corner. Church still looks different and probably will for a long time. One of our members asks me frequently when we are going to go back to regular church, and each time, when I respond with,
“I’m not sure” my heart breaks a little; for both what was, and for what will be.
2020 saw a highly polarized political climate. Our own congregation spans the political spectrum. It would be foolish of me to assume that we all have the same political convictions and ideals; and after a highly contested election in 2020, we, as a country and as a community still have to navigate the road ahead of us. I do not believe it will be an easy road, nor a journey to take lightly.
I do see hope though. I have come to understand the road ahead, the work our county and communities have to do as similar to the work God has done in and through Christ Jesus. It was in Christ Jesus that God reconciled the world to himself. Our transgressions, our sins, on this side of the resurrected Christ are no longer counted against us. The empty cross, the empty tomb both stand as stark symbols and reminders of God’s great love for humanity, a love that was so deep God took those sins upon himself that we might have life and have it abundantly. We live in that Grace, we reflect that same Love that was shown to us, as we continue the difficult work of reconciliation amongst ourselves.
The work of the church, the work of Christianity, the work of you and I is the work of forgiveness of sins; sometimes
that work includes the naming of sin, calling out a transgression so repentance, and then forgiveness can flourish. It is the same work that God has accomplished through Christ Jesus, but instead of the abundant life that we look forward
to in the life after this, the forgiving of sins, the sharing of the love of God, that He has first shown us, bears that life abundant in the here and now, making the kingdom of God flourish amongst us here. I know that it is difficult work,
but it is good work.
I am not sure what will come next in 2021, but I do know that as we move forward, it is vital that we look towards that work of reconciliation. My hope and prayer for 2021 is that we can celebrate the lives of all of God’s children, that we can offer others the same dignity and respect that we ourselves hold dear. That we may love God with all our heart, all our soul and with all our mind… and that we may love our neighbor as ourselves; that life and life abundant may abound,
to God’s glory!
Pastor Dan Forsgren