Story Magazine - First Quarter, 2005

David Tiede: Pastor

Reading devotions on Israel crosscultural trip, 1997

After I graduated from college, I lived in Costa Rica for a while and the family came to visit me there. I was working with a group of Protestant Pentecostals. I had no theological language or education at that time, no terminology for any of the things I was experiencing. I remember talking to my dad about a couple of the things people had told me. His eyes welled up with tears, and he responded that people were saying that because they don't understand grace; they only understand the law. He started talking about the love of Jesus and how freeing that is and how beautiful that is, and he just wept.

At that point in my life I didn't understand why he was crying. Years later I finally thought I understood what he was talking about. To take the gospel and obscure it into something negative and judgmental is a perversion of something so perfect and wonderful. It was a tragedy that struck him so deeply that he cried even talking about it. That had a big impact on me. He has a very tender heart. Now I know it is simply because he understands grace and mercy and love and forgiveness at such a deep level and he wants everybody to have this understanding, and he is profoundly sad when he thinks that people don't.

- Kathryn Tiede-Hottinger, daughter, ELCA pastor serving as rector of Saint Francis Episcopal Church of Greenville, S.C.

One of the remarkable things to me is that David shows up at our Wednesday morning Bible group made up of downtown business executives just like one of the guys, even though we all know better. He doesn't lead the group, though he has unbelievable insight and an incredible scholarly background.

When we start a new book, we ask him to give us a bit of historical overview and some of his thoughts. Sometimes he has brought over someone from the seminary who has particular expertise in a certain section of the Bible to make us smarter about what we are about to read. His value to the group is unbelievable.

I have learned from David an incredible amount about the Bible and how it relates to my own life, not only through the group but also through talks that we have had one on one. As we sit around the table after reading something, we often remark how applicable it is to what we are doing right now in our personal or business lives. Frequently we discuss how it applies to something we are wrestling with in our business. This study group has contributed to how I think about both my personal and professional life.

- Tad Piper, Vice chair and former CEO of Piper Jaffray