Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (4)
- Author: James R. Anderson is a pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
- Updated: 03/12/2008
- Copyright: Mount Olivet Lutheran Church,
5025 Knox Ave S,
Minneapolis, MN 55419-1095
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church's pastoral staff wrote five articles for the congregation's newsletter, the Mount Olivet Weekly Visitor, for this stewardship campaign. Following is James Anderson's contribution to the series, which appeared in the Aug. 28, 2003, edition.
For a full overview of this stewardship series, click on
Mount Olivet stewardship.
We were brought here five years ago by Pastor Paul Youngdahl. It was, thanks to his great friendship and generosity, a grand reunion with the family church, where I began my career under the watchful eye of his father, Reuben and Fran Swanson at Cathedral of the Pines.
As was the case in my previous parishes, people have been born, baptized, confirmed, married, moved away, moved in, died and gone to heaven. We were called to confirmation retreats and Cathedral of the Pines, giving sermons at Rolling Acres and Careview. We held the hands of the sick and dying and probed the Bible in adult education. I have made more than a few evangelism calls along the way and have been happy to welcome hundreds of new members into our fellowship over the five years.
There are many in this great congregation to whom we owe a great deal. There are people who have helped us, counseled us, consoled us, cheered us on and prayed for us. What huge gifts we took from all of you, and how small these words are to express the gratitude Diane and I feel toward you.
More than a few have asked Diane or me where we are moving and we are thrilled to tell them, "Nowhere, we are staying right here." We are staying in our home in Bloomington and staying at Mount Olivet, where Diane will continue to work with the Mount Olivet Homes' Auxiliary and I will be in the archives. We are home. If my sermons have brought some honor to this church, it was the very least I could do for the magnitude of your help to me. My special thanks to Pastor Paul Youngdahl, my great and constant supporter, my fellow pastors, the Mount Olivet staff, and you, the members of Mount Olivet Church.
We are in the midst of our stewardship campaign. To encourage your very best gift of faithfulness this fall, I want to tell you about my mother and father, who moved to St. Peter in 1945. Dad volunteered to head up a fund drive for Lutheran World Relief to help the war-torn of Europe. The pastor apologized to my parents when asking for the lead gift because they had so little to give. But Dad said so simply, "Don't worry, Sylvia and I went down to First National Bank this morning and we've borrowed the money." For Mom and Dad, that was a life-giving interruption and reset their priority on Christ and service for each and every year they lived.
May you continue putting yourselves as the people of God in small places where witness really matters. Finally, we take an old Swedish phrase as our word to you: "Tak for alt." Thanks for everything.
Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (1)
Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (2)
Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (3)
Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (5)