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Thank you, Pastor Mathison!

Dear St. Philip the Deacon Friends,

I write to share news that Pastor Cheryl Mathison, our Teaching Pastor, has let us know that she will be retiring this spring. Her final Sunday in worship will be Sunday, May 12, 2024.

During Pastor Mathison’s 21-year call to St. Philip the Deacon, she has—among many other things—taught countless classes on the Bible and theology, regularly instructed our families and youth on the sacraments, and led five different travel groups to the Holy Land, Germany and Greece. For more than two decades at St. Philip the Deacon she has been a gifted teacher, worship leader and preacher, a trusted colleague, and a caring pastor. We give thanks for her good and faithful service.

“As one might imagine, I have mixed feelings about the transition from full-time ministry to retirement,” Pastor Mathison says. “I am very excited about what retirement holds, but I will grieve the loss of this faith community and its worship life as the place my family and I have called home for 21 years. More than anything I will miss the many people with whom I have built and established valued relationships over two decades at St. Philip the Deacon.”

During retirement, Pastor Mathison plans to pursue her many hobbies and interests, which she says are “more than enough, I think, to fill my days.” She and her husband Mark hope to do more traveling and biking together, and she also looks forward to being more available to her children and grandchildren, all of whom live in the area.

We will begin a search for a new pastor immediately, and will continue to keep the congregation updated with news on that front as there is more information to share.

In the meantime, I invite you to put two dates on your calendars related to our celebration of Pastor Mathison’s retirement: Thursday, May 2, from 5 to 7 p.m., when we will hold an open house reception in her honor at Wayzata Country Club; and the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12, when we will thank her during our worship services, and when she will preach her final sermon at St. Philip the Deacon.

“There is so much I could speak to after nearly 36 years in ministry,” Pastor Mathison says. “The highlights and memories are many. As I reflect on my ministry, most of all I feel honored to have been called and invited to bring God’s Word of love, comfort, hope, and promise at some of life’s darkest, and also at some of its most joyful, times.”

As we prepare to publicly celebrate Pastor Mathison for her long and faithful tenure over the next couple of months, I also encourage you to extend your gratitude and appreciation to her personally, and to keep her and the congregation in your prayers during this time of transition.

Grace and Peace,

Tim Westermeyer, Senior Pastor


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“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Leo Tolstoy