A Sunday Surprise

We went to worship in the church where John’s grandfather was the pastor from 1913 to 1924 in Hayward, Minnesota. The original building was replaced, but we are sure the bell behind John, Barbara, and Chris was heard by their mother.

We chatted in the sanctuary with a parishioner and Pastor Enderson. That pastor was a one-man band! , He played the prelude on the piano, doing an improvisation based on the first hymn. Making the announcements, he said the organist was away and he’d be playing and conducting the service. He sang the chants with a beautiful voice. Switching to the pulpit, he read the gospel for the day and preached the sermon. Back at the piano, he played the offertory, and so it went.

After the service, we went to see the wall of photographs of former pastors. In my picture, pastor Enderson is putting the photo of our relative, Pastor Ellertsen, back on the wall. We found out this young pastor is the grandson of the pastor who followed our relative! That was our Sunday surprise.

Our three posed before the former parsonage. It is next to the church but no longer belongs to it. This was the house where our relatives lived. It did not have running water in the early days, but it must have had a fence. The children were told they could speak Norwegian inside the fence, but outside the fence it had to be English.

In the afternoon we went to the party for Sid and Jacob, and what a party it was! We began with a tour of the farm by cousin Kirsten. Her daughter Erin and Ben own it, having expanded it over the years. (Erin and Jacob are first cousins.) There were appetizers in the barn, pizza from a food truck, and salads in the barn.

We sat in the climate-controlled root cellar for the toasts and roasts. Sid and Jacob knew each other from grade school on, so the people who spoke were classmates from 20 years ago. I love these teasing speeches that make you feel you know the couple better. The ending was a grand finale – all kinds of cakes to choose from. I had eyes only for the chocolate, but there were others for non-chocoholics.

Here is the happy couple we were celebrating, Sid and Jacob. God’s blessings on your life together!

15 thoughts on “A Sunday Surprise

  1. It must have felt like a time machine! This story brings together all the people from the past who formed and taught all the next and there is John and the next generations….
    Wonderful!

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  2. I just hauled out my Minnesota map. My great-great grandfather homesteaded in Rushford, Minnesota, just about the same latitude as Hayward though further east. They had many Norwegian neighbors over time.

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    1. I’ve heard the family stories for 55 years, and they have become part of my life story, too. We’ve had photos of that pastor/grandfather and his wife on our dining room walls for decades. Guess they’ve watched us eat all that time!

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      1. My ancestors were the subject of conversations too and I learned about them that way, but never met any of them. My mom spent an afternoon showing me who everyone was way back, so I learned some tales that way as well.

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      2. OK, yesterday was a longish e-mail for both of you – something like “Time” magazine would feature about historical pictures. Today’s e-mail was a link of extraordinary items that animals caused us to discover. I figured you were home and your inbox was not full – hope you figure it out.

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