Messiah Lutheran Church Welcomes a New Pastor
It has been a year filled with counting its many blessings as Messiah Lutheran Church of Oakland celebrated its 50th anniversary. However, if you ask any member of the congregation, they will tell you their greatest blessing came at the culmination of their celebration with the arrival of their new pastor, Reverend Julie Haspel. After a year of searching, their prayers were answered with Pastor Julie.
Pastor Julie comes to Messiah after serving congregations in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts for nearly 18 years. She was ordained in the in 1991. She has masters degrees in both Divinity and Sacred Theology and a Bachelors of Arts in Music. During her college years, she embarked on a musical youth ministry endeavor with Lutheran Youth Encounter. What was planned to be a year of a musical ministry team traveling up and down the east coast, expanded into a second year of leading large youth gatherings, giving church concerts, and ministering in prisons and to all types of differently abled children.
Pastor Julie is a strong visionary and goal-oriented leader preferring to walk the pastoral walk in partnership and collaboration with the leadership and members of the church community. She is currently taking time to visit all the members of the church, praying with them and for them, and getting to know and love them. Faith formation leads her goals for Messiah. A new Bible study class has already begun on Tuesday evenings and fellowship opportunities have been planned for camping and a trip to Great Adventure! To keep with Messiah’s goal of Christian Education for all, we are also starting a Bible discussion group for teens that will be run between services along with our other and Bible study programs.
Both Pastor Julie and her husband are originally from New Jersey and were eager to be closer to home and family. They have been settling into their home now for the last two months and are finding life in Oakland to be a wonderful change for their family. One of their two children has said “Oakland is the best place we have ever lived. Everyone should want to live here!” She and her family are already enjoying the benefits of Crystal Lake Beach Club so you might catch her there relaxing in the summer sun. They also enjoy all the great hiking the area has to offer. Pastor Julie always says, “If you see my little blue car in the lot at Messiah, my door is open for a visit!” Messiah Lutheran Church is looking brightly into a future of ministering God’s love to Oakland and the surrounding communities. Amen!