There's one thing you should know about me. It defines me, moves me, and makes me who I am. It's this: I'm a saint. I know that sounds like I've got a big head, but I don't mean it that way. I'll be honest. I sure didn't start out as a saint. I had to be bought. I had to be cleaned. I had to be forgiven and won by the blood of Jesus. I was. So now I'm a saint. Just like you are. Yeah, I'm a pastor too... not to mention a husband and a dad. But first and foremost I'm just the same as you: God's redeemed person.
There are other things I could tell you about myself. I suppose I could tell you that Aiken is home for me now. And I mean that. It really is home. Maybe I could even interest you with the fun fact that I love to compete. I cut my teeth in middle and long distance running. I've since added cycling to my repertoire. I admit it. I just love to go as far and as fast as possible.
Perhaps I could tell you too that I studied far too long to become a pastor (I say that tongue in cheek. I actually loved it.). I graduated from Martin Luther College (New Ulm, MN) in 2004 with a BA. I met my best friend and wife there, Melanie. I pulled off (I should say God pulled off) something unexplainable and happy when she married me during my second year at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (Mequon, WI) in 2005. During my third year of Seminary I interned at Bethel Lutheran in Arcadia and Galesville, WI. In 2008 I graduated from the Seminary with a Masters in Divinity. I'm currently working toward my second Masters. After Seminary, I had the privilege of pastoring a large Lutheran church by the name of Trinity in Brillion, WI for six years. While Melanie and I were there our daughter Elliana arrived. Sometime I'll tell you that whole story. Let me tell you from experience: God knows how to give good gifts at just the right time. Seriously.
You can find me contributing to the larger church beyond Peace as well. I write regularly for a national periodical called Forward in Christ. I also write with a group of bloggers called Bread for Beggars. I mentor new pastors in a program called Grow in Grace and I coach church planters passionate about moving the gospel forward through new churches. Finally, I'm also a co-founder of the podcast Project 1517 with my twin brother, Pastor Timothy Bourman.
I suppose I could say more about myself. I suppose I could say less too. Finally, this is what I'd like you to know about me. God has made me a saint. That's my identity. And that gives me peace. I pray God will use me to bring you that same peace - a peace that inspired a man by the name of the Apostle Paul to say that it is so immense (and I'm paraphrasing) that we aren't even able to get our heads around it. That's real peace. And it's for real people. Just like you.
Pastor Jonathan Bourman