Conference celebrates milestones in ministry

June 22, 2016

By: Christa Meland

“Did you know that the Butterball turkey company has a hotline to answer questions about cooking turkeys?” Bishop Ough asked the congregation at the Celebration of Life in Ministry worship service Wednesday night. It does, he told them, and several years ago, a woman called to inquire about cooking a turkey that had been in the freezer for 23 years. The operator told her that it might have been safe it it was kept below 0 degrees the whole time—but even if it was safe to eat, the flavor had probably deteriorated. “Well, that’s what we thought,” the woman said. “We’ll just give it to our church.”
Stories like this one make us a little uneasy because they remind us how often what we give to God is our leftovers, Ough said. “God wants commitment, not compromise…God wants surrender, not sorry excuses.”
Hundreds of Minnesota United Methodists heard this message while gathered to remember friends and colleagues who have died over the past year, honor retiring clergy (who collectively have contributed 409 years of service), and celebrate newly licensed local pastors as well as those being commissioned and ordained. Preaching on Matthew 22:15-22, Ough told attendees: “To give to God the things that are God’s is to give God our lives.” God is not concerned with the legalism of our denomination or whether we give away 10 percent of our paychecks. That’s a good start, but it’s just the beginning. God wants more than that.
“We give, live, serve and pray because an incredibly gracious gift has been given to us in Jesus Christ,” Ough said. “The roots of living generously are in this central truth: We are all stamped with God’s image. We bear Christ’s title…everything we do is in response to what God has done for us.”
He asked those being commissioned and ordained: What will you offer God as you come to this altar tonight? Whose image is stamped on you?
“Come tonight, come to this altar remembering whose image you bear,” Ough said. “Come and let God unleash all the gifts God has given you for kingdom work. Come to carry God’s infinite image into the world.”

Throughout the course of the worship service, these individuals were lifted up in remembrance, recognition, and celebration:

Those Who Have Died

  • Sharon McClelland (Husband, Rev. Robert), 7/11/15
  • Rev. Robert Schwanke (Wife, Mavis), 9/5/15
  • Martha Karsten (Husband, Rev. Clare), 9/22/15
  • Mary Isobel Neal (Late husband, Rev. Paul), 9/30/15
  • Steven Michael Anderson (Wife, Rev. Jennifer), 10/15/15
  • Rev. Clayton A. Oberg (Wife, Mary), 10/26/15
  • Margaret “Peggy” Jakway (Late husband, Rev. John), 10/28/15
  • Anne Marie Dundas (Husband, Rev. Charles), 11/6/15
  • Richard “Dick” I. Chapman (Wife, Rev. Barbara J. Lindgren), 11/25/15
  • Rev. Monroe Bell (Late wife, Margaret F. “Peggy”), 11/26/15
  • Clara White (Late husband, Rev. John), 12/5/15
  • Rev. Walter R. Grist (Wife, Janeva), 12/13/15
  • Rev. Ronald C. Hume (Wife, Vida), 12/18/15
  • John D. Finnegan (Wife, Rev. Karen), 1/5/16
  • Mary Louise Woodward (Late husband, Rev. Donald), 1/30/16
  • Rev. Mary E. Tappe (Late husband, Howard), 2/1/16
  • Barbara E. Willford (Late husband, Rev. Earl), 2/4/16
  • Rev. Emery L. Wallace (Wife, Dorothy), 2/23/16
  • Rhoda Mary Grover (Late husband, Rev. Eugene), 3/11/16
  • Alice Robinson (Husband, Rev. Rolland), 3/13/16
  • Virginia Nyberg (Late husband, Rev. Warren), 4/25/16
  • Jennie Lee Giere (Late husband, Rev. Kenneth), 5/25/16
The Retirement Class
  • Ingrid Bloom
  • Susan Smith Bryden
  • Robert R. Ford
  • Linda J. Gesling
  • Bryce W. Johnson
  • Brian Marshall
  • Arthur F. Miller
  • Diane K. Nelson
  • Dean Arthur Nosek
  • Jeffrey L. Olson
  • David M. Price
  • Janiece Gail Redman
  • Philip L. Strom
  • Randy Taber
Licensed Local Pastors
  • Amelia Buschena
  • Paula Gaboury
  • Kris Geer
  • Libby Henslin
  • Jennifer Johnson
  • Kelly Lamon
  • Tami Luckhardt
  • Linda McCollough
  • Keith Mercer
  • Judy Miller-Qualley
  • Steve Reiser
  • Guy Sederski
  • Ashley Swoboda
  • Cody Swoboda
  • Toubee Yang
Completion of the Course of Study for Licensed Local Pastor
  • Kristi Franken
Those Who Were Commissioned

Commissioned for the work of a deacon
  • Christopher David Carr
  • MaryAnne Korsch
Commissioned for the work of an elder
  • Leah Marie Boyd Challberg    
  • Clinton Evans
  • Terri Denise Horn
  • Katrina Elizabeth Lee
  • Kelly Richard McCuaig
  • Laura M. Nordstrom
  • Jesús Edilberto Purisaca Ruiz
Pastor Under Appointment of the Bishop as Associate Member
  • Tsuchue P. Vang
Those Who Were Ordained

Ordained for the work of an elder
  • Michelle Elaine Olson
  • Marianne Rochelle Ward Ozanne

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058