So walking into Church this a.m., I certainly got a surprise. The congregation had arranged a celebration of my 25th anniversary of ordination. As I am still off this Sunday, we came early and snuck into the balcony. My first clue something odd was going on was when the opening procession began and Synodical President Harrison, vested in chasuble, strode down the aisle next to Pr. Gleason. Huh? We were blessed to have Pastor Harrison serve as preacher (as usual, law with power and gospel with overflowing joy) and celebrant at the Eucharist, and to do a question and answer during the Bible Class hour, and to join us for the pot-luck following the morning liturgies. Also blessed to have former vicars show up for the potluck: Pastor Brian Holle and Pastor Karl Gregory (Pastor Gregory also joined us for both services); Synodical First Vice-President Herbert Mueller and wife Faith worship at late service and stay for potluck; add in Pastor Todd Wilken and Pastor Kirk Clayton (with wife Lori, who used to teach in our school) and our godson Nathaniel along with his siblings AND Clarissa Braun; and all the dear members of St. Paul's who joined to celebrate the day - Robert Esch for a video walk down memory lane (including RUDE comments about how my hair is not the color it used to be!), and all the yummies the good folks at St. Paul's prepare for potlucks and it was a day that I will remember and treasure forever. Thanks to all for the kind words, the gifts, and the whole shebang. I suspect I owe a special thank you to the elders for organizing the affair and to Millie, to whom the potluck was entrusted. God bless you all - we love you very, very much!
P.S. Carlo also greatly blessed with Gigue Fugue as postlude. I got to watch him "dance" through it twice!!!