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Greetings in the beautiful name of Jesus, our brother, savior and Lord. God works all things for the good of those who love Him. Whether our time is peaceful or turbulent, God is working for our good because He is our Father, and we are called to be His sons and heirs. If for now we feel like a field getting dug into, having wounds opened and fresh fears exposed, if the plowers are plowing on our backs, making long furrows (Psalm 129:3), it is God preparing us to receive the seed of His Word and produce an abundant harvest.

Our family has arrived at a pleasant resting place over the course of the summer. After vacation in Colorado, we returned to our St. Louis home and began attending a new church, Epiphany, in South St. Louis. Benjamin joined the staff there and works in the areas of music and ministry, directing the choir, playing some organ, teaching Bible study and preaching occasionally. He has been composing music for the choir to sing Psalms to. We are excited to belong to a church family while Benjamin works on his PhD, and Benjamin thoroughly enjoys working with music again.

Benjamin is now fully accepted into doctoral studies at the seminary. He is in the History of Exegesis program, which covers the interpretation of the Bible—and, really, the theology in general—of the Christian Church from the Apostles to the Reformation. His focus is on the Fourth and Fifth Centuries, around the time of the first four Ecumenical Councils, including figures like Augustine of Hippo and John (Chrysostom) of Antioch. This summer he completed a video presentation for the seminary’s fall theological symposium on these two figures and their use of Scripture in preaching. All in all, Benjamin is excited to be still and work in this academic setting for the next two years. We anticipate a call in the spring of 2024.

We are due for our fourth child in mid-September. This will be the second newborn we welcome into our apartment on Alamo (Adelaide was just a month old when we first moved here). We are trying to keep busy with new (and old) seminary neighbors while we wait for baby to arrive. Among the new arrivals to campus are Jenna (Benjamin’s youngest sister) and her husband, Josh, who is starting seminary this fall. We’ve enjoyed playing board games with them here in this time before school starts up again.

We pray this letter finds you well, and we are confident that God is holding you in his loving care in every situation. God bless your work and endeavors with His favor.

Benjamin Vanderhyde served as an intern at Saint John’s the summer of 2017. He is a student at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. During his vicarage year, Ben and his wife, Grace, served the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as missionaries in Sri Lanka. In his role as vicar, Benjamin trained up musicians to serve the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church while assisting the other LCMS missionaries serving in Sri Lanka with their work and learning from them.