Several months ago, two of our vestry members stepped-down. Toby Erickson left for a new job in Philadelphia, and Craig Wilson had conflicting work and family responsibilities. When vestry members step-down without filling their terms, the vestry chooses their replacement. This is different from new vestry members beginning a new term, as those are chosen by a nominating team and voted on by the congregation. Sam Hamer and Justin Tennison were chosen for the vestry to fill these roles. Below is a short testimony by Sam Hamer to help us get to know him more.

by Sam Hamer

Hamer - photoMy wife, Naomi, and I were introduced to Church of the Cross just a few years after we were married.  Neither of us was that familiar with the Anglican form of worship.  I was initially attracted to this church’s small, family feeling, a feeling that was enriched and strengthened by its long-shared, liturgical statements of faith.  Our family has grown in the years that followed.  We now have three boys, Eli (11), Luke (8), and Joseph (5).  Likewise, our church family has grown, but I still feel that same togetherness and inspiration from sharing in worship here.

Like many, I came to faith, by God’s grace, through the witness of my family, especially my mother and grandfather.  As I grew up in small-town Ohio, I heard and watched my grandfather, a retired Baptist pastor, folding his long fingers at our dining room table, pray with earnest thanksgiving to a God he had spent his life serving.  My mother also faithfully demonstrated living in dependence on God, parenting my brother, sister and myself, and making sacrifices to ensure that we heard and responded to the good news at home, at church and at school.  From these and many others, I learned and recognized the human condition, my condition, imprinted with a divine image of love and yet broken, willful and in need of the forgiveness that only Christ can provide.

Eventually I pursued studies in physics and then law, where my faith was both tested and tempered.  Both disciplines encourage skepticism and labor under burdens of proof.  At times I do find myself wrestling, witnessing pain, imagining God’s silence or indifference, but I think these challenges have done more to sharpen what I believe rather than undermine it, as I learn new identities and discover more fruitful evidence.

For the last sixteen years I’ve practiced as a patent attorney in Minneapolis.  Others in my family also settled in the Twin Cities, and many of you know my mother (Jo-an), sister (Sarah), and brother (Jesse) who also attend Church of the Cross.  Naomi and I currently live in Orono, and we enjoy weekend trips to Fergus Falls to visit Naomi’s parents where her father has been trying to make a true fisherman of me yet.