Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

 

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a peaceful and prosperous 2017!  Below is our 2016 Christmas Letter to Family and Friends.

Our new address is:  2105 Maclaren Street, Yakima, Washington 98902.

Happy Advent!

We hope all is well with you and yours, and we hope you enjoy ALL the holidays of the season!

Yes! In case you haven’t already heard, we’ve moved!  After serving St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Nebraska for almost 5 years, Carolyn accepted a call to Central Lutheran Church in Yakima, Washington.  Take a look at www.clcyakima.org.  Even at our age, we’re adding yet another exciting chapter to our lives!

Last Christmas, Carolyn and Dave took a trip to Carolyn’s hometown, Fredericksburg, Virginia.  We hadn’t been there since 2000.  Much of her family still lives there, and it was nice to see them again.  Among others, we visited her Aunt Grace in Bowling Green, and her Uncle Sam in Lexington.  Aunt Grace died last summer.   We visited the schools Carolyn attended, and worshiped at Christ Lutheran Church in Fredericksburg, her family’s home church.  We also went to the battlefields and Washington D.C. and did other touristy things.

Dave is keeping busy coordinating an Extreme Winter Weather Shelter here where 20 homeless men can sleep in our church fellowship hall during cold nights.  He’s looking forward to doing more with Advocacy and Social Justice issues in the new year, and finding a first call as a deacon!  He’s also singing in the church choir and the Yakima Symphony Chorus.

Carolyn had the on-site three weeks of classes at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago for her Doctor of Ministry program in June and July.  Her classwork was interesting and challenging, and Dave had a nice time experiencing Chicago once again!  Carolyn interviewed at Central in July, accepted the call, and her last day in St. Paul was August 14th.  We then drove to Yakima, where we stayed with a Central family in their home until we were able to move into a home we bought on August 26th.  We downsized…considerably, from a large parsonage to a much smaller 1950 era home.  It needs some work, but it’ll be fun!  We’re going to restore the original solid oak floors, we’re thinking of a Prairie School decor.  We left MANY, MANY things behind, much to the benefit of St. Mark’s and their Junk Jaunt the last weekend of September in support of numerous missions of the Church!

Four trips were made to move: 1. Dave and Carolyn drove to Yakima so Carolyn could begin serving August 15th.  2. Dave flew back to St. Paul to load, single handedly, a 26’ UHaul, and drive it to Yakima.  (Unfortunately, the moving van company backed out only a week before.)  3. Not everything fit into the truck, so Dave flew back 2 weeks later and loaded a10’ truck with the rest of the things needing to be moved.  Driving over the mountains is NOT fun in a truck.  4.  Carolyn and Dave drove back to St. Paul to bring her mother to live in The Landmark nursing home here in Yakima.

Central Lutheran Church in Yakima recently celebrated their 90th anniversary, having been formed by the merging of a Swedish, a Norwegian, and a German congregation.  Much is happening in the congregation, the building is used by many outside organizations, and they are a very caring and active group of people.  We love it!  Carolyn hopes to accomplish a lot here!  Yakima is a city of 98,000 in south-central Washington.  The Yakama Nation Reservation is just south of here.  We’re 2.5 hours from Seattle.  Almost 80% of the hops used by breweries in the USA is grown in this valley, along with much of the country’s apples and other fruits.  Vineyards and wineries are abundant as well.  Many things to do here, lots of places to visit.  Very exciting!

Dan and Emily are settled in their new home and jobs, Emily at Honeywell and Dan at Gage Advertising, in and around Plymouth, MN.  Dan visited Yakima before a business meeting in Seattle.  Bethany is enjoying her life in San Francisco, CA and helping high school students understand the science of physics in their lives.  She joined us for Thanksgiving.  All will be here for Christmas.  Yay!  Dave’s brother and sister-in-law came for a visit, too. The Pacific NorthWest is a great place to be!  The Yakima Valley is beautiful!  Please come visit us when you can…we have a couple of extra bedrooms.

Though we’ve had a great 2016, we concerned with recent events and what 2017 may now bring. Pray with us for ALL people around the world, especially those in need, not only at Christmastime, but ALWAYS!

 

Please keep in touch:  email us at family@hellerich.com.   Check out our family website for more photos and information at www.hellerich.com.

 

 

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