Rev. Karen Chraska expresses her gratitude in allowing her to serve Trietsch for the last 20 years:
I am a very blessed individual. I can't say thank you enough for Sunday's luncheon celebration. I was deeply touched, sincerely humbled, and immensely grateful. You killed the fatted calf and I never went away and returned! The hymn commissioned to celebrate my 20 years at Trietsch totally blew my mind, the video, the food…Wow. Really?!
Someone yesterday asked me, "How have you lasted this long at Trietsch?" I joked my strong German roots and stubborn nature probably helped! But, truly I know I have a purpose larger than myself. Thankfully, I love people. I thrive on people. I believe in people because people are created in God's image. Love God and love neighbor is Jesus's most basic and strongest message. I have had the privilege of serving alongside some of the most loving, generous, kind people this side of heaven. I believe in Christ and the Church. Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church says, "The church is the hope of the world." With every fiber of my being I believe this is true.
Just like any occupation, ministry is often challenging. Trying to please everyone will, as Rev. Doug Meyer says, gives you "crazy head." My motto is has always been strive for the best and cope with the rest. If at the end of the day, if you have done your best and it was sincerely all you had the mental capacity, energy, and time to do, then lay your head down and go to sleep because tomorrow (God willing) you get to do it all again! I sincerely apologize for the times I let you down or failed you. There have been too many times to count that I could not attend a funeral, wedding, meeting, rehearsal, or hospital visit. I have done and said stupid or insensitive things maybe because I was trying to be funny, and sometimes because I was just stupid and insensitive. Please forgive me.
I know that sometimes you have been disappointed and wanted your pastoral staff to say or do things other than what we have said or done, but I can sincerely say decisions made at Trietsch over the last 20 years have always been made with the best of intentions…even though looking back I am sure some don’t seem like they were. God knows our hearts and even when we stubble, thank god for second, third and one thousandth chances!
On behalf of my family, which you have loved and helped raise, THANK YOU and I pray the same love and blessing over you and your families.