Rev. Patrick Baldwin - LWML WY District Senior Pastoral Counselor

Rev. Patrick Baldwin: 
LWML WY District Senior Pastoral Counselor


July 2024

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” This was the theme verse chosen
for the Twenty-seventh Biennial Convention – and what a fitting verse it was! There were

many reasons for rejoicing there in Powell: time spent in fellowship with friends old and new,
hearing about various ways in which our Lord is using even little mites to spread His Gospel
and care for His people, and of course gathering to be fed by Him through Word and
Sacrament in the Divine Service. Of course, these are just a few of the many reasons we
were given to rejoice; I’m sure you can think of many others. (Maybe even surprise donut
walks that caught certain pastoral counselors unaware!)

But what about times where the reasons to rejoice aren’t as obvious – if you can see
them at all? Both convention speakers, Mrs. Rosanne Muncy and Deaconess Stephanie
Wilde, talked about occasions where worldly joy was hard to find. For individuals in prison
and children suffering from traumatic experiences, causes for rejoicing may seem completely
obscured by sadness and pain. And even in our own lives, times of trial – big or small –
would seem to take away our ability to rejoice. Where do we turn in these times?

As our theme verse reminds us, we turn to the Lord and rejoice in Him. Both Mrs.
Muncy and Deaconess Wilde made this point in their excellent presentations. And even
more, we heard this truth in the hymn beautifully sung by the ladies of the Divine Service
Choir. In the words of “Rejoice, My Heart, Be Glad and Sing,” the great Lutheran hymn writer
Paul Gerhardt reminds us that God Himself is our source of joy. Whatever happens, we can
cast our cares on Him. In times of gladness and in times of joy, we know that our Lord in
wisdom is using them to bring about a blessed ending. In every hour, God is our true
treasure, joy, light, life, Lord, counselor, shield, and great reward, and therefore these things
cannot be taken from us!

Because God has made us His people in Holy Baptism, we are never without a reason
to rejoice. In the coming two years that I get to serve as Senior Pastoral Counselor for our
district, I hope to share in many more occasions of rejoicing. And even when those draw to a
close, we know that the greater rejoicing is still yet to come!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Baldwin