I remember how timid I was when I took my position in my first pastoral district. There were a few things I learned later, but two things helped me survive the ministry. From the very beginning I sensed God’s protection, especially during those early church board meetings.

I later learned there was a group of members in the church who were praying for me. I believe prayer is the most important tool in the hands of church members. Unfortunately, most of us do not pray much. Please pray for your new pastor and the ministry of your church. There is no greater comfort for a new pastor than to know that church members are praying for them and their family by name.

The other thing I learned in my new district is that every church member expected me to know their name. Church members, please remember the hardest question for a new pastor to answer is, “Do you remember my name?” Please do not embarrass your new pastor. You can use the opportunity to remind your pastor of your name as an icebreaker. If your pastor is anything like me, they will appreciate it.

Minnetonka Church

We are happy to announce that Pastor Jiwan Stefan Moon has accepted the position of senior pastor for Minnetonka Church. The Minnesota Conference Board of Trustees extended the call after the Personnel Committee and the Church Search Committee interviewed him. Pastor Jiwan started with the Minnesota Conference on Aug. 1.

Communication Department: How long were you in your current position?

Pastor Jiwan: I have been at the General Conference in my current position since 2014 serving as the inaugural director of Public Campus Ministries, a ministry which grew exponentially on a global perspective during my six-year tenure. I come with 25 years pastoral experience, special emphasis on youth and young adult ministry. The world church is experiencing budgetary constraints, and as a result many positions are being eliminated.

CD: What do you see as your major role in a church that has a school?

PJ: I am convicted that we as a church must raise the next generation of leaders. We must raise a new generation of Joshuas and Calebs who will finish the gospel work. The following is a quote from Ellen White that has been guiding me over 25 years of youth and young adult ministry: “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come, – the end of suffering and sorrow and sin!” (MYP, p. 193).

I see myself working closely with the school board, church board and the board of trustees to see that “our army of workers” are rightly trained by giving them quality Adventist education. We must create a symbiotic and collaborative partnership between the church and school. This can be realized when we work together as a team; working together with parents, teachers, church leaders and administrators, and even students, all as stakeholders invested in the well-being of not just one, but two important organizations that will serve our Minnetonka community.

CD: In most cases church members see the pastor’s family as partners in ministry. How do you see your family doing ministry in the church and school environment?

PJ: I am the son of the first missionary sent by the Korean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. My wife, Jessica, is a teacher by profession and currently a full-time home-school teacher busy preparing our three daughters for a life of mission and service for God and others. She majored in French and speaks four languages: Portuguese, French, Spanish and English. She loves children and loves teaching them about the love of Jesus and the importance of serving Him. Our three daughters, Hannah (13) and Rebecca (10) both were baptized on their 10th birthdays, and Isabella (9) is preparing for her baptism as well.

Hannah wants to be a pastor, and Rebecca a missionary doctor. Isabella is still deciding what she should do. They all play violin and piano, and love to sing as well. It is a joy to our family to use our musical talents for God. Our family motto is, “Serving God and others in reverence and humility.”

As a family that is what we want to do. Living in a mission field sparked the missionary spirit in me and I want our family to be remembered one day as a missionary family—heart and soul.

Please join us in praying for the Moon family as they transition to the Minnetonka Church.

Hutchinson Church

Pastor Abner Aguilar has been the pastor of our Cambridge Church and The Edge Christian Fellowship Church for nearly four years. We’re glad to announce that Pastor Abner and his wife, Kara, have accepted the call to serve as pastor of the Hutchinson Church.

Communication Department: We are excited, Pastor Abner, that you accepted this call. We believe you will be able to connect well with the Maplewood Academy community. What do see as your major role?

Pastor Abner: I am looking forward to pastoring in a church that is supportive of Adventist education. As the pastor, I would like to be involved with the Hutchinson community and especially Maplewood Academy’s spiritual and recreational activities because I desire to connect with the student body and the staff. I also hope I can visit with faculty and students at the Northwoods Elementary School, and get to know staff, students and their families while I minister to the Hutchinson congregation and their needs.

CD: In most cases, church members see your wife as a partner in ministry. How do you see your family doing ministry in a church and school environment?

PA: My wife is not the pastor, but she has a lot of experience working in an academy setting, so I have no doubt that together we will be able to have a positive impact on the student body. We look forward to attending activities and creating opportunities to minister as a team to the entire Maplewood community.

Church, please keep Pastor Abner, Kara, the Hutchinson Church, Northwoods Elementary and Maplewood Academy in your prayers. Also, remember in prayer the congregations which the Aguilar family is leaving.