A Wedding, A Funeral and an Ordination
by Kathye Hamm
I go to Safeway a lot. I guess you could say that I’m not that organized . . . I practically go every day to buy what I need for dinner that evening. So, as a consequence, I know most of the checkers. And, because I’m a talker – I know a bit about many of their lives.
I learned about Joel’s girlfriend, and then about his decision to ask Corrine to marry him. I let him know that if he didn’t have a pastor, I’d be happy to perform their wedding.
So he asked Corrine. She said “Yes!” Then they both asked me to marry them.
It was a lovely, small wedding in this very cool theater in the town where Joel grew up – Petaluma. I let them know of our ELCA congregation there – and they knew about it already! Joel’s son had attended the Pre-school there! Elim Lutheran has a good reputation in that town!
It was a joy to be a part of their special day – to be sure!
Pr. Bonnie Bell was a lover of music and of her church. She served her church faithfully in positions of lay leadership and as a pastor. She was very connected to Marin Lutheran, so both Thomas and I knew her and her family.
Pr. Jim Lapp, St. Stephens, Santa Cruz did a marvelous job leading the memorial service for Pr. Bonnie. His sermon was an excellent reminder to everyone there of what a joy it is to serve God in the world as Pr. Bonnie did, and what a gift the resurrection is for all of us – every day.
It was a good thing to see the group of clergy there who had supported and loved Pr. Bonnie throughout her ministry.
What a grand day it was to celebrate Pr. Daniel Shantu’s Ordination last Saturday! Bishop Mark presided over his ordination, I preached and many of his colleagues participated in the service! What a joy for all of us!
Toward the end of my sermon – I lost my voice! So Pr. Pamela Griffith-Pond graciously stepped up and read the last page to the saints that afternoon!
There were pastors from Cameroon, Rwanda, Ghana and Ethiopia as well as from the East Bay! There were Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists and a whole host of Lutherans! Pr. Daniel has been called to Faith Lutheran, Santa Rosa – they were there as well!
Toward the end of the service, Bishop Mark asked the assembly:
Will you pray for Daniel, help and honor him for his work’s sake, and in all things strive to live together in the peace and unity of Christ?
We answered with one voice:
We will, and we ask God to help us.
These three services were marvelous reminders to me that:
We are church
We are Lutheran
We are church together
We are church for the sake of the world!
Thank you for your ministry in Christ’s church.
May God’s blessings shine upon you and your ministry,
January 22, 2020
January 13, 2020
December 30, 2019