A Letter from Our New Pastor

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My name is Bailey Schreiner, and I have the great privilege and the immense pleasure of being appointed to serve as your new full-time pastor at LVC. I grew up just across the pond in Largo, went to Florida Southern College in Lakeland, and have served with several churches in the area, so it feels good to be home!

Allison and I moved into the church parsonage a few weeks ago, and we felt blessed by the many people who cleaned the house, prepared meals for us, and helped us unload the moving truck. If you helped in any way, thank you! It’s a huge thing to transition from being a full-time seminary student at Duke Divinity School to being a full-time pastor of a local church, and we want you to know that your love, kindness, and patience have meant the world to us.

In my devotional time this morning, I stumbled upon these words from 1 John 4:7-10 (CEB):

"Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love. This is how the love of God is revealed to us: God has sent his only Son in to the world so that we can live through him. This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins."

As we navigate this season of new beginnings, these verses remind me that to know God is to love God. God knows you, and God knows me. God loves you, and God loves me. Like a perfect parent, God already knows us and loves us fully and completely. We are the children of God, and I can’t wait to get to know and love God even better with you, my beloved siblings in Christ.

These verses also remind me that to know each other is to love each other. We live in a deeply broken and divided world, but I believe that when we eat, pray, worship, serve, laugh, play, and spend time together, we can get to know and love each other as people who bear the image and likeness of God – so let’s get to know each other!

When I’m not writing sermons and doing other pastor things, I love exploring local restaurants, watching movies, and going to the beach. I’ve been watching The West Wing with Allison, and we’re super excited for the next season of Ted Lasso! We’re looking forward to rooting for the Buccaneers this season (unless they’re playing the Jacksonville Jaguars), and we’re hoping to get into disc golf soon. I’ve heard we have a great course at Limona Park!

My first Sunday at LVC is July 4, and whether you join us virtually or in-person, I hope to see you there! Dr. Bryan will share the sermon, then we’ll celebrate Holy Communion together. On the following Sunday, we’re kicking off a brand-new, never-before-seen, fresh-out-of-the-oven sermon series called A New Creation: Navigating a Season of New Beginnings. I can’t wait!

Grace & peace,

Pastor Bailey Schreiner