Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Ordination Celebration Part 4, Wyoming

...and still continuing with Sunday's presentation for Mike's ordination celebration of 25 years...

When Mike started feeling his work was done in Alamogordo, he heard from or about other congregations but none seemed like where he was supposed to go. THEN one evening the phone rang. I answered and it was a guy named Bob on the line. He made some comment about making "first contact" and I knew he was going to hit it off with Mike. You see, that "first contact" comment came from Star Trek and Mike was most definitely a Trekkie.

So.... on to Casper.  By that time Sam was the only one living at home. He wasn't thrilled about leaving his friends but he was brave.

We found Prince of Peace to be filled with angels!

Mike had his 50th birthday here. Some of you may remember that he was rather cruel to the ladies in this congregation who turned 50 just a few months before him.

Well, we got even as we inducted him into his own little Red Hat Society. Doesn't he look pretty?

One of the most memorable experiences here at this church so far has been the crazy idea of swapping buildings with another congregation.

What an absurd idea, to pack up our congregation and to move to such a big facility!

It was most definitely a God thing!

This photo was taken at one of the several hayrides we've enjoyed at a parishioner's family farm.

The people of the congregations are what Mike's ministry is all about... the people.  Now you will see that I found it hard to edit photos. I found quite a few of sweet people here and I just thought you all would like to see them as well...

Betty and all of us enjoying a picnic.

.   (I am omitting some of the recent photos of kids as I didn't ask permission to put them here)

And here's Renee, in her natural habitat, serving in the kitchen.

(Here I have omitted a photo of my friend, her request.)

Mary and Diane look like they were praying but I don't think they were as I don't think I'd be rude enough to photograph during a prayer.

One of the things you may not know about Mike is that he is a photo-hog. I'm not kidding. I was wondering recently, "How many families have photos of him in their photo albumns for weddings, confirmations and such?"

Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of Susanne? This may not be a great photo but it sure captures her spirit. She is always, always working for this church.

The amazing thing is, she has been the only secretary Mike has worked with here and they've worked together for 10 years! That may not seem so unbelievable to you all but consider this... during his 9 years in Alamogordo, Mike went through 9 secretaries! Thank you, Susanne, for putting up with him as he is obviously quite difficult to work with.

Here you have witnessed Mike developing as a grandfather. It has been fun to see "Pastor Grandpa" in motion here.

Mike has had the joy of baptizing our two granddaughters into this congregation.

We've enjoyed a lot of years of Christmas Caroling here, and felt warmed by the parties that followed.

One thing about Mike, he's always so serious about his work...

a pastor does a LOT of teaching.  Here he is teaching the fine art of office golfing with his shepherd's staff...

This is Mike in his favorite fabric... denim.

Mike's parishioners are always so excited to come to church!

I don't know WHAT to say about this photo...

...Or this one...

So... Mike,

For delivering 1500+ sermons, 
for welcoming so many into God's family, 
for braving confirmation students, 
for inspiring preschoolers, 
for caring for the sick, 
lonely and wounded, 
for preparing so many couples for marriage, 
for praying with the dying, 
for comforting the grieving, 
for counseling the hurting, 
for showing God's love to the lonely, 
for sacrificing your days off over and over, 
for being on call around the clock, 
for sharing your strength and insight, 
for your gentle but dependable leadership, 
for sharing your quirky sense of humor 
and for your steady example of letting God guide the way...
We, your flock, say "Thank you".

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