Thursday, January 3, 2013

Merry Christmas from Midwest City, Oklahoma!

December 2012                                                                                                                                  
To All Our Stolpe Star Friends and Family,
Norm’s last day to preach as interim pastor for 1st Christian Church of Duncanville, Texas (20 miles directly south of our Dallas house) was August 12. On August 19 he preached for the first time as the interim pastor for 1st Christian Church of Midwest City, Oklahoma (200 miles almost directly north of our Dallas house). In that week we packed, loaded the cars, drove to Midwest City, moved into house and office. In between, Norm wrote his sermon for our first Sunday at the new church.
One of the joys of having had pastoral ministries in Illinois, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Texas and now Oklahoma is accumulating a vast treasury of friends which interim ministry accelerates. You who are receiving our Christmas greeting are valued assets of this treasury. With gratitude for the intersection of our lives, this Christmas we wish all of God’s best for you in the year ahead.
Interim ministry is all about helping congregations in transition. The realization that far more is in flux than the identity of the pastor stirs feelings of uncertainty and instability. The opportunities for transformation or retreat are up front. Sharing life with these congregations highlights our personal and family transitions. Rather than trying to freeze time at a cherished moment, Christ calls us forward into our new challenges and adventures.
Here are some snapshots of the transitions for us and our family.
Erik is living in our Dallas house while we are in Oklahoma. He continues to be an assistant manager with Pei Wei Asian Diner, starting at a new (for him) restaurant in north Carrollton, Texas. Besides continuing to play with The Raven Charter, he has branched out into some other music opportunities.
David and Rachel continue their leadership roles with Milwaukee Mennonite Church. Sam (11) swims competitively and plays piano. Elizabeth (Bitsy – 6) has started violin. David is still Dean of Students at Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School in West Allis, Wisconsin, and Rachel continues as a night time nanny for infants. We did get a brief visit with them extended from a trip to see Norm’s Mom. 
Jon continues in management with Siemens automated building controls, and Leanne does one-on-one support for special needs children. Hannah (15) is a high school freshman and has raised a seeing-eye puppy, Irwin. She went with Jon on a mission trip to Guatemala. She continues to pay violin. Isaac (12) plays trumpet, piano and basketball, and is active in Boy Scouts. They are active at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Royersford, Pennsylvania. They visited us for Holy Week.

Still in his own home in Minneapolis, Candy’s Dad has been talking with us about coordinating our plans for so our transitions will bring us together. At 92 years old in skilled care at the Michaelson Health Center of the Holmstadt in Batavia, Illinois, Norm’s Mom has slowed down considerably.
Merry Christmas!
Norman and Candy Stolpe

3154 Flowerdale Lane
Dallas, Texas 75229
315 East Harmon Drive
Midwest City, Oklahoma 73110


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