Carolyn has been called to serve Central Lutheran Church in Yakima, Washington!

Last winter, the bishop of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod contacted Carolyn about a church vacancy in the synod.  He felt Carolyn might be the right person for the call.  Not much happened for months.  Carolyn’s name was sent to the church in May, with two others.  She was interviewed by their Call Committee via Skype, twice.

We flew from Chicago, where Carolyn was taking classes for her Doctor of Ministry in Preaching program at LSTC, to Seattle on Friday evening, July 8, 2016.  The Call Committee Chair, Jason Moos, picked us up at our hotel on Saturday morning and we went to Yakima, Washington, 2.5 hours southwest of Seattle, through the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

That day, we toured Yakima, had an outdoor lunch with many of the youth and their families, toured the church facilities, had an outdoor dinner with members of the Call Committee.

On Sunday, Carolyn preached and Dave delivered the children’s sermon at the 9:30am eucharist attended by much of the congregation.  The nave was full.  We all enjoyed lunch in the fellowship hall afterwards, followed by a question and answer session for Carolyn.

Later Sunday, we met with a realtor and looked at 6 area homes, not knowing if we’d need to buy something there yet or not.  Then we had dinner with the Bishop and the combined Call Committee and Church Council, which Carolyn met with afterwards to discuss the weekend and the future.

It was a busy, exciting, anxious, full weekend.  Jason took us back to SeaTac Monday morning, and after having lunch with Phil Nesvig, the current interim minister, we flew back to Chicago and then drove home to St. Paul.

The Call Committee recommended Carolyn to the Church Council, who in turn recommended Carolyn to the congregation, who met on Wednesday evening, July 13, and voted to call her to be Senior Pastor of Central Lutheran Church.  Carolyn accepted the call, and it was announced in worship on July 16 & 17.

Our last day at St. Mark’s will be August 14th, and Carolyn’s first service in Yakima is August 21st.

On Friday, July 15th, we put in an offer on one of the homes we’d seen Sunday, and it was accepted.

Yakima is a city in south-central Washington State, east of the Cascade Mountains, with a population of 95,000.  With suburbs and the surrounding valley area, the metropolitan area population is 250,000.  Central Lutheran has a Senior Pastor, an Associate Pastor, which is currently vacant, and a Visitation Pastor, along with a Christian Education/Youth Director, and an after school program Director, in addition to the Secretary and Custodian.  Membership is 800 with 200 average attendance Sundays.  Photos of the church are below.


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Dave’s Birthday and MORE happening in Chicago!

Very busy week ended with a very busy weekend.  My birthday was yesterday, and we began with brunch at Medici’s Restaurant on East 57th Street here in Hyde Park.  We’d never been there for anything but pizza, which is fantastic!  Their Eggs Benedict and Sweet Potato Pancakes are amazing, too!  Went to the Loop in the afternoon to see the sights and had dinner in the Walnut Room on the 7th floor of Macy’s on State Street, formerly Marshall Fields & Company.  Delicious chicken pot pie!  Fireworks are every Wednesday and Saturday evening throughout the summer, so we went to Promontory Point Park about 20 minutes from our housing at the seminary, and watched the fireworks from Navy Pier.  Today, we worshiped at Augustana Lutheran Church across the street from the seminary, then went to the worship at Rockefeller Chapel on the University of Chicago campus.  Got to tour the Carillon Tower and heard a concert, too.  Lots of photos here:


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A James Taylor Concert at Wrigley Field!

Thanks to our children, Bethany, Dan & Emily, for the wonderful birthday present I received this year…tickets for two to the James Taylor concert at Wrigley Field in Chicago. James Taylor performed at Pinewood Bowl in Lincoln, NE earlier this week, and had we been in Nebraska, we most likely would have gone.  But, Carolyn and I are in Chicago for Carolyn’s Doctor of Ministry in Preaching classes.  WE had a great time at the concert, and were amazed how well both Jackson Browne (Taylor’s opener) and James Taylor can still sing!!!!  Ah, the memories!!!!!JamesTaylorInPerson CityBehindConcertStage WrigleyDinner LoopFromWrigley JamesTaylorInPerson WrigleyAfterConcert

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Always Good to Return to Chicago!

On Monday, June 20, 2016, Carolyn begins her second three-week-long “residency” at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago as she pursues a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching.  Dave is going along this year to have a good time.  Chicago is where we met, on the front steps of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, almost 37 years ago!

Dave and Carolyn at the place they first met on September 7, 1979.

Dave and Carolyn at the place they first met on September 7, 1979.

Promontory Point on the lakeshore in Hyde Park, a view north of the Loop.

Promontory Point on the lakeshore in Hyde Park, a view north of the Loop.

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Time for the annual Memorial Day cemetery visits!

Flowers adorn our family graves at Lincoln Memorial Park in Lincoln, Indian Mound Cemetery in Ithaca, Sunrise in Wahoo, and at the Valparaiso Cemetery.  Don’t live close enough to water live plants, so artificial is our only choice.  OlsenFlowers16I&RHellerichFlowers16ThomsFlowers16DaharshFlowers16ValFlowers16B&LJohnstonFlowers16AJohnstonFlowers16

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Holy Trinity at St. Mark’s and the blessing of new banners for the Chancel


New banners, designed and created by Barb Stefanowicz, were blessed on Holy Trinity Sunday at St. Mark’s, May 22, 2015.  Thank you, Barb, for sharing your gifts with the church!

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Confirmation on Pentecost at St. Mark’s!



Two youth were confirmed in the faith by Pastor Carolyn on Pentecost, May 15, 2016.  Welcome, Ashlyn Lukasiewicz and Maryn Martin.  Congratulations to them and their families.

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Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces…

SpruceReplant MapleReplantMartin Luther:  “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces,  I would still plant my apple tree.”

Last year, we lost two conifer trees in the back yard of the parsonage.  We bought a new blue spruce to replace one tree, and transplanted a volunteer maple tree from the front yard flower garden to replace the other.  Both are, we’re happy to say, thriving.  No, they’re not apple trees, but we believe in tomorrow as much as Marty did!

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Can’t wait to bake pies!

It’s springtime once again in central Nebraska!  The cherry blossoms are blooming in the parsonage backyard.IMG_0763

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Midweek Church School begins at St. Mark’s!

A new year of classes began today for our Midweek Church School.  Held most Wednesday afternoons, after school from 2-4pm at St. Mark’s, it’s an opportunity for the congregation to reach many children around the community.

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Bless all those who are helping plan and teach the classes and activities!  This first class this year was certainly a success!!!

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