You know me, I love conversion stories, and right now I’m enjoying part 2 of my friend Karen William’s serialized account of her journey to the Catholic Church. Check it out!
At the same time, one of my girlfriends, Wendy, invited me to her church – St. Paul Lutheran. I took her up on it one fateful Sunday and was immediately taken with the whole church concept and started attending on a regular basis. It was as though someone turned on the God faucet and my mind was opened to the constant stream of His love and mercy. Pastor Mike told me to read a little book on the Gospels called “The Way” and I attended Pastors Class faithfully every Sunday. I was on the fast track. By April of that next year, I was to be baptized (yea!) and confirmed in the Lutheran Church.
St. Paul was a large Lutheran Church in Trenton Michigan. It belongs to the Missouri Synod which leans more conservative than the other branches. The church was traditional, baroque with a communion rail and a large glorified Jesus behind the high altar. It had one of those suspended ambos that was elevated from the rest of the sanctuary by stairs. Pastor Pohl (head hancho), had a beautiful sermon delivery and would always conclude his sermons with “And so far”. I really don’t know if that makes grammatical sense, but it sure sounded cool and everybody respected him. The music at St. Paul was a big deal. Every Easter we’d hire a local orchestra, mix in our own musicians and vocalists with them (I played first chair trumpet at that time) and go crazy on Handel etc. It was a blast. (no pun). The performance would always engender tears and ovations. I lasted at St. Paul until I went away to college. Pastor Pohl stayed on until retirement, Pastor Mike (the younger assoc who ran the Pastor’s class) defected to the charismatics and was basically shunned.
Something curious was happening in my soul. Something really glorious. Of the things I managed not to discard, I saved my senior year scrapbook which includes a page entitled “One Important Person”. The page is not devoted to any one person, but to . . . (read more)