Christmas Again, Already?
Ever notice how adults often fuss about how quickly Christmas comes around, as though an extra week in December would help us be ready? and children fuss about how long it takes to get to Christmas as though subtracting a week from December would make waiting easier?
Despite the denigration of Christmas letters as brag-sheets, we enjoy the annual catch-up with friends and family, and send The Stolpe Star as our way of affirming the wonderful relationships we have had with so many people over the years.
But even more than the family news, we want to extend to each of you our greetings and prayers for a Merry Christmas. May you find that contemplating the birth of Jesus each year never gets old but renews your spirit again.
Norm and Candy Stolpe
Helen Doris Stolpe
We were able to see Norm’s Mom in August when we traveled to the Midwest. Her health and strength had been declining since Norm’s Dad died in 2007 and accelerated the last couple of years. We all knew this would be our last visit, which we found deeply satisfying rather than depressing. Besides time with Mom, we had good conversation with Norm’s sister Elaine and her husband Max to thank them for their years of on-site care for her and to prepare for her departure.
She left us in peace in the early morning hours of September 30 (Norm’s 68th birthday), content with a full life devoted to Jesus without regrets, unresolved relationships or unfulfilled dreams.
The Family Gathers
We took a couple of weeks off between Norm’s interim pastorates with 1st Christian Church of Odessa, TX and Highlands Christian Church in Dallas, TX. We flew to Milwaukee and had quality time with Rachel and David, Sam and Elizabeth as we used their home as basecamp and their car for transportation to visit Candy’s Dad in Minneapolis and Norm’s Mom in Batavia, IL.
In October we were back in Illinois for Mom’s memorial service with Erik, David and his family and Jon and his family and had a potent bonding time. Norm’s sister Elaine had all of her children and most of her grandchildren there as well. We got to see dear friends from our years in Illinois too.
After 2 years for interim pastorates in Midwest City, OK and Odessa, TX, we are happy to be back in our Dallas home and serving Highlands Christian Church.
Erik’s career is also taking an important turn. His musical opportunities are expanding, and he has gone back to food service with Rusty Taco, with prospects of advancement.