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Last sermon for Incarnation Lutheran Church's Pastor Vita

This article is about me and there are errors in it.

The Farewell Festivites that will take place at Incarnation Lutheran Church on Sunday August 31st is an opportunity for friends and members to remember our shared past and to wish one another "Godspeed" in our future faith journeys. This ESSENTIAL CORE was not reflected in the Southampton Press article.

Please note these VERY important corrections: (Thank you)

First, I am leaving behind a new grand SON, not grand daughter.

Second, I was not removed by the bishop's office due to "dwindling membership." When I came to Incarnation in July 1999, there were the same number of people worshipping then as now. In fact, I was not removed. It was decided that I would leave so that the bishop's office could work directly with the council to discern the congregtion's future. For example, the congregation may decide to call a bi-lingual pastor.

Third, Pastors Ray Birkel and Carl Weaver are leading worship on Sundays; they are not replacing me. The congregation will be "in-between" pastors.

Fourth, revitalization is a possible turn-around phase for a declining congregation. Closing may or may not be the option that the congregation choses.

And although the Metropolitan New York Synod focuses on the more numerous churches in the five boroughs, "success" is measured by faithfulness to the Gospel not by the number of members in the pews. In non-church talk this means that a congregation is "faithful" if it makes a difference by reflecting to others the love of God it freely receives.

Incarnation is a faithful congregation.

Athough small in numbers, it is BIG in its involvement in the community involved in social justice issues of Immigration Human Rights/Education and recovery programs in the DWI jail facilities. Members advocate for Peace & Justice and Affordable Housing and particpate in the Bridgehampton Food Pantry.

As "the welcome place" Incarnation has been a safe haven for many who want to probe the meaning of life, find spiritual healing, enjoy community, receive grace.

I am so sorry that this article did not reflect the vitality of not only my ministry but that of the congregation. If you want to know more about Incarnation, "check out" the church and see for yourself. You are welcome on Sunday the 31st at 9:30 for worship; 11:00 for brunch; 1:00 for a FESTIVAL OF MUSIC; and 2:00 for lunch.

"God be with you till we meet again."

The Rev. Rose Ann Vita
(631) 537-1187" Aug 28, 08 1:14 PM