A Special Message from Rev. Lowell Halvorson

Since that afternoon in early autumn of 2008, when Betty Reinke stopped at my recently acquired apartment on Farwell Street with a container of chocolate chip cookies and a loaf of Great Harvest bread, it has been my joy and blessing to be a member and partner in ministry at First Lutheran Church.  I had recently retired from a two-point parish in Belmond, Iowa.  The retirement lasted for about one year.  Inquiring into whether there might be a need for a visitation pastor at First, I was warmly received and hired within two weeks.  The rest, as is said, is history.

Since the fall of 2009, it has been my true joy to minister to the hospitalized and ill and homebound of the congregation, officiate at number of funerals, preside at worship on occasion and get to know and serve a number of wonderful individuals and families.  I have been blessed to be part of a staff which is the best anyone could ever hope for or be given in a congregation of Christ's Body in this place, and members that have been truly a blessing.

The time has come, though, now to retire "for real".  It is only after much deliberation and discernment and prayer that this conclusion has been reached.  And so, with much sadness, I will take leave of my active part-time ministry at First Lutheran Church on June 15, 2015.  The last six years have been so good for me and have provided countless rewards and joys.  They will always continue to provide memories of how good God is and how rewarding ministry in Christ's Church can be.

As First Lutheran moves into, as yet, uncharted territory with the collaborative effort involving Our Savior's, I am confident that whatever the outcome of the deliberations, their guidance by the Holy Spirit will result in God's will for the future.  We are Christ's Church, the beacon to the world around us of the hope for Christ's people for an eternal future that exists nowhere else, the promise of forgiveness and grace and love that have no boundaries.

As First Lutheran moves into the future as "a community of faith reaching out in the name of Jesus Christ", it will be a joy and a privilege to continue to be a part of her witness to Christ in this time and place.

Grace and peace,

Lowell Halvorson