“Abide in love.” A Sermon by the Rev. Kyle Seibert, May 6, 2018

This sermon was delivered by the Rev. Kyle Seibert at Our Savior Lutheran Church & Campus Ministry on Sunday, May 6, the Sixth Sunday of Easter.  The readings and Psalm were Acts 10:44-48, Psalm 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17

 

Grace and peace to you from the Triune God.

Finally! I’m not sure about you all, but in some ways, it feels as if this call process has been in progress for a very long time. For you all, it has been about 26 months since you first learned that you would need to call a new pastor. About 10 months after that, you welcomed Nancy Vogele among you to lead during your time of transition and then bid her goodbye before calling Bob Wohlfort from among you to step into pastoral leadership. These 26 months were filled with countless consultations, decisions, forms, paperwork, conversations, and I hope, most of all, prayer. You see, the call committee assembled to work on behalf on the congregation was not merely a head-hunter team. Instead, at each and every step of the way, this congregation was asked to invite the Holy Spirit into the process (as if she needed an invitation), and then to listen. Continue reading “Abide in love.” A Sermon by the Rev. Kyle Seibert, May 6, 2018

Remembering Evelyn Johnson (1922-2018)

evelynEvelyn Ingeborg Johnson, 95, born Nov. 17, 1922, in Forestville, Conn. to Frederick L. Johnson, and Anna Paulina (Bengtson), died peacefully Friday, March 16, 2018, in her home at Harvest Hill in Lebanon, NH.  A celebration of Evelyn’s life was held at Our Savior on Friday, April 6th.  The Rev. Robert Wohlfort, Transitional Pastor, led the service.  Following reflections from Pastor Wohlfort, Evelyn’s hospice chaplain the Rev. Susan Langle, and Evelyn’s niece Lois Semrau.

I did not know Evelyn in her prime…and I heard about her of those years via apt clichés such as, “No shrinking violet was Evelyn,” and “No way was she a wallflower.”

24 hours after her death, I arrived here for the monthly men’s breakfast and the conversation was peppered with anecdotes and laughter and stories about this lovely woman:

-spirited and vocal time and presence at Church Council

-her energetic Spirit filled spirit

-her voice and fun filled manner in the choir

-her all around memorable presence

At the quilting group yesterday I learned of the coffee scoop around her neck from which she made the brew ”…that did pushups in the cup.”…an Army term.

Somehow, many years ago, she learned that a boy’s camp in Ossipee was to be sold and the Lutherans were interested.  So, she drove to the camp to check it out, was delighted with what she experienced and enjoyed Calumet on many occasions and contributed to its life and mission.

During my last visit with her I was pleasantly surprised to be with Evelyn who was freshly bathed, dressed in brightly colored pajamas and a plush robe…a stark contrast to her tiny form tucked into bed a few days earlier.

On her chair side table was a service bulletin from, I think, Augustana Lutheran Church in Houston.  The date was in the early 90s.  This opened a reminiscence that clued me in to a portion of her joyous work of consulting with congregations throughout the nation.  In Houston she was very proud of being a part of this congregation that was the first congregation of that city to integrate its membership with people of color.  Evelyn was absolutely clear that she and Augustana were simply following Jesus. Continue reading Remembering Evelyn Johnson (1922-2018)