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Ministries of Thirty-seven Retirees celebrated
The Retirement service for the 2013 Annual Conference celebrated the ministries of thirty-seven clergy. With music from the Kayros Band and Hispanic Ministries Choir the retirees began to “experience a season of change in our lives,” as the opening prayer offered.
Together the gathered community sang, “A charge to keep I have, a God to glorify... To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill… Help me to watch and pray,.” Acknowledging the transition all prayed, “Steadfast God,as we experience a season of change in our lives, a time of hellos and goodbyes, a time of questions and a time of discernment, move us through each of these seasons in the assurance of your love, the strength of your faith, and the courage of your hope.”
In his sermon, entitled “Thank You for Being You,” based on Romans 14:110-14, Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble said, “For me, in many ways, this Service of Celebration of Retirement is a sacramental moment of thanksgiving. We are in the presence of greatness.“ By his calculation he discovered that there are 938.75 years of service in Iowa represented in the Retirement class, and he observed, “you still look good! You have demonstrated faithful Christian discipleship in what is characterized as an instant society.”
He confessed, “As I was entering ministry 30 years ago, I was blessed by pastors like you…when I was a layperson, when I was a youth and camper…I was blessed by families like yours. Thank you for being you!!!”
Offering some advice Bishop Trimble advised, “Retirement is a transition you, and in most cases you and your spouse, have planned with a direction and homestead in mind. May God richly bless you in this season of fresh new mornings.”
As a word of blessing he said, “Some of you were born and raised in Iowa, while others have journeyed here years ago. I call Iowa home. Some will call another state home and connect with grandchildren and ministry interests unlike what you are doing now. Some of you will succumb to pleadings of teary-eyed superintendents. God has smiled on you. God has set you free. God has smiled on you and me. God has been good to you and me. Amen.”
Likewise, the congregation offered a blessing, “God of grace, you fill your servants with vision. You empower your servants with your Spirit. We give thanks for the ministry of these people, and for the ways in which you have ministered to us through them. Give them a sense of your abiding presence, that they may continue to love and serve you, and ever grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray.”
Each of the Retirees walked across the stage and was greeted by the Bishop.
In his closing blessing Bishop Trimble said, “Go into the world and respond to the love of Christ in all you do. Live out the vision God has given you. May God's mercy, grace, and peace be with you. May you be channels for God's mercy, grace, and peace to the world wherever you may be!”
Members of the Retiring class of 2013 are: Dale E. Batcheler, John D. Boatman, Mary Dianne Brokken, J. Robert Burkhart, Brian E. Carter, M. Wayne Clark, Sue Ann Cubbage, Robert J. Dagit, Clarence DeBoef, Timothy J. Donovan II, Jill C. Flyr, Kalen Fristad, Morris C. Hurd, Mary M. Johnston, Edward A. Kail, Charles B. Kellogg, David L. Kruse, R. Kevin LaGree, Jill S. Leveck, Marvin G. Lindley, Catherine A. Luck, Gary D. McDonough, Betsey Sue Neipert, David A. Pacholke, Ashok N. Patet, Merle Ray Paulsen, Judith A. Piper, Deanna Pullen, Jerry E. Rigdon, Herbert G. Schafer, David R. Shogren, Kathryn M Spracklin, Thelma C. Subramanian, Jerold G. Swanberg, Melecio A. Valdez, Timm A. Wilkin, and Dana E. Wimmer.