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Reflection on the ordination of don Fabián at San Agustín Lutheran Church, August 28, 2014
The people of God at San Agustín Lutheran Church were filled with anticipation and excitement. You could feel the joy in the air. I was present in the community along with a group from Augustana in West Saint Paul on a visit to our sister congregation. Our group thought we would be participating in the dedication of the new sanctuary being built in the village but when we arrived in La Esmeralda, we knew right away there would be no dedication. The new church building wasn't completed. But something more important was to take place and that was the ordination of the new pastor at San Agustín.
I don't have space enough to share a full history of why this ordination was so important to San Agustín. But what I can share is the incredible joy and peace the people of San Agustín felt that day because they now had a pastor, a shepherd. His name is don Fabián. He is a quiet, gentle man who possesses great strength and purpose. He came to understand that God was calling him out of the community to be the pastor over a long period of time. It was not an easy process for him. There were challenges he faced, and issues in the community that needed to be addressed. But over a period of time the call became clear. Don Fabián listened to the Holy Spirit and the community and he accepted the call to be the pastor of San Agustín.
I was privileged to give the sermon and preached on John 21: Jesus' call to Peter to feed my sheep. There was a lot of music, incense, tears of joy (and tears from the incense) and deep gratitude. There was a palpable sense of peace because their church now had a shepherd. This was a sign that God was present and alive in San Agustín and in their community. For our Augustana group, it was an amazing privilege to witness this celebration of gratitude on the ordination of don Fabián. San Agustín has a pastor. This is no small thing.
The Rev. Mark Aune
Senior Pastor, Augustana Lutheran Church, West Saint Paul