Thursday, December 24, 2015

Stolpe Star December 2015

The Ever Circling Years
Aware of our own “ever circling years,” we join It Came upon the Midnight Clear yearning for peace to fling its ancient splendors over all the earth.
At my annual physical exam, my doctor remarked that I had recently turned 69. I joked in return that I had one more year before qualifying as an elderly gentleman. He replied that Medicare already considers me an elderly gentleman and proceeded to ask me about depression, balance and falling.
Perhaps that this is going out on Christmas Eve is one sign of how we are (or are not) dealing with our stage of life. “The ever circling years” since the birth of Jesus affirms for us again God’s hand in the unfolding of history both in the turmoil of the world and in embracing the vistas opening in our time of life.
Merry Christmas to all of you!
Norm Stolpe (for Candy too)

Grandchildren Grow
It doesn’t seem that many years have circled since Hannah was born as our first grandchild. But she is now 18, a high school senior and actively in the college hunt: Eastern, Grove City, Messiah are the candidates. She intends to continue running track in college.
Isaac is a high school sophomore excelling in piano and trumpet and on the verge of Eagle Scout (and driving when he turns 16 in May). He is almost as tall as his Dad.

Sam is a 14 year old 8th grader who plays cello and in a ukulele group with other kids. His math and science curiosity keeps expanding. His voice and stature are of an emerging young man.
Elizabeth will turn 10 just after I email this edition of the Stolpe Star. She is advancing in piano and is poised to pass Sam in piano competence. She recently went with her Dad and their beagle Bella to Minneapolis to visit (great) Grandpa Miller.

Erik Focuses on Music Career
 During 2015 Erik’s music career began to build momentum, so he left food service to focus full attention on music. He plays bass for Troy Cartwright, a country singer, and keyboard and guitar for other occasional opportunities. He started teaching but the music school closed. So he is seeking private students and other performing opportunities. He is also giving attention to building his music proficiency. This transition is both exciting and stressful as the income is uneven.

Candy’s Year at Home
After two years on the road with Norm’s interim pastorates in Midwest City, OK and Odessa, TX, 2015 has been Candy’s first full year back in our Dallas home. She has enjoyed reconnecting with friends. Addressing concerns of the house after that hiatus and supporting a home base for both Norm and Erik occupies a lot of her attention.
Norm’s Ministry Transition

In May Norm finished his interim pastorate with Highlands Christian Church in Dallas. His plan had been for one more interim pastorate, but despite a couple of leads that has not come to fruition. He has been driving funeral cars (limo and hearse). This seems to complete a family circle. When Norm’s Dad died in 2007 we learned from his Navy discharge papers that he had hoped for seminary and ministry but went into the funeral business. Now 40 years after Norm’s ordination, he is in the funeral business. A 3 day a week interim pastorate may open up in 2016. We’re tuning into God’s direction.

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