Pastor Paul Gauche’s Letter to the Congregation

 In News, Transition Blog

Easter Monday, April 1, 2024

Dear disciples and friends of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church,

It is with a joyous heart overflowing with gratitude and love that I write to you this Easter Monday, April 1, 2024. The ‘fullness of time’ has come for me to conclude my ministry as Pastor of Life Transitions as of the weekend of June 29-30, 2024. I look forward to stepping into the next chapter of my life and spending time with family and friends.

This ‘fullness of time’ is poignant for me. That weekend will mark the 40th anniversary of my ordination on July 1, 1984, to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The nearly three decades that I’ve served as your pastor have been among the most rewarding years of my life.

In this ‘fullness of time,’ I am gratefully reflecting on our life together.
• What a joy to have been part of such a spirited community of faith! For over 28 years, Prince of Peace has been the place where we’ve gathered to worship, sing, study, and pray. Together, we’ve been equipped and sent to serve, inspire, engage, and model lives of discipleship in the world around us.

• It’s been an exhilarating experience collaborating with such a diverse range of exceptionally creative individuals: preachers, teachers, photographers, painters, writers, thinkers, builders, actors, and musicians! The music – oh, the music! From the early days of writing musicals with treasured colleagues and going on the road with dozens of lay leaders and thousands of students to such exotic places as Clearwater Beach, Seattle, San Diego, Texas, and Phoenix to collaborating with many of our worship teams providing world-class music for weekly worship and so many other events. It’s been thrilling!

• I feel a profound sense of pride in being connected to a community of faith that embraces a clear, welcoming, and boldly inclusive theology and opens its doors as wide as possible! I’ve been profoundly shaped by countless conversations over endless cups of dark roast about a God who goes to extravagant lengths to show awesome love and amazing grace to all people—no exceptions.

• I’ve been honored to be present during so many life events – so many moments of both sorrow and joy. While I have been your pastor, you have been my minister as we shared life together. The deep trust we’ve built enabled us to share deeply, dividing sorrows and multiplying joys. All of these were reflections of our God, who walks deeply into our lives and holds us so close.

• I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to journey together through the changes and transitions of life – from the milestones of births, baptisms, confirmations, and graduations to the pivotal moments of leaving home and entering colleges, engagements, weddings, and marriages. As we’ve shared experiences like gainful employment, job losses, illnesses, and healings, from parenting to becoming grandparents, retirements, deaths, and memorial services, through all the ways we’ve embraced new life together, I’ve been and will remain deeply grateful.

• It’s been an inspiration to be part of a generous congregation that has been committed to erasing debt and creating new ministries that bring hope and wholeness to others. Learning to live open-heartedly has inspired us to live open-handedly, and that has created a more generous world.

• I am truly blessed to have served alongside so many missional-minded leaders and disciples who have been the hands of feet, the heart and mind of Christ, serving in such places as Doulos Discovery School in the Dominican Republic, Tanzania. [places in] Appalachia Service Project, Group Work Camps, Minot, North Dakota, Texas, Mississippi.

I look forward to the ‘fullness of time’ of our next three months together and the opportunities to express my profound gratitude to this beloved congregation and say farewell.

With deepest appreciation and love,


Paul Gauche
Pastor of Life Transitions

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  • Jeana K

    Thank you for all you have done for us and Prince of Peace. From struggles for years to be able to start a family, to the blessing of baptism that you performed for our little girl, is something that we will never forget. We will always have a special place in our hearts for you and hope that this next chapter is the most fulfilling one yet for you! Sending love, light, and blessings to you and your family!

  • Marilyn Liesch

    You officiated at Dale’s and my wedding….you instilled a presence of love, acceptance, and joy….we learned from you the importance of “that’s not going to work for me” .. to “how can I be of help”….you introduced your ability to be patient, to learn what is important, and when to let go of what is not…my wish is for all of your dreams to come true. May the way forward be beautiful for you.

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