Dear Friends in Christ, 

Once again, I want to offer you my thanks and gratitude for extending to me the opportunity to serve as your pastor.  After much prayer, deliberation, and conversation, I have decided to return this call in order to continue serving my present congregation. 

This was a very difficult decision for me to make.  Emmanuel is a faithful and vibrant congregation with much to offer your community.  This decision is not because of any negative aspects of Emmanuel or the village of Adell.  If I were not currently serving in a different call, I would not hesitate to accept this one.  However, for a number of reasons, I think it would be best for me to remain here at Faith, Oak Lawn. 

I know that your call committee has served you well in presenting a number of fine candidates to serve as your next pastor.  I pray that you will find someone soon who will accept this call. 

In the meantime, I know that you will be well served by pastors Scheblein, Gillespie, and Mumme, in coordination with your Board of Elders.I have appreciated this opportunity to get to know you and your congregation, and it is a blessing to continue to work alongside you in our Lord’s kingdom. 

His peace be with you,
Pastor Mark Birkholz 


The call committee will meet Monday August 3rd at 6:00 pm to review our call list. We will decide at that meeting to vote on candidates from the list (if still available), or to request a new call list from the SWD. 

Andy Schmitt