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When I asked him to continue working with the children in a puppet theater project, he said yes.

When I asked him to use some of his precious vacation time to accompany the youth on a canoeing and service week to Shannondale Community Center, he said yes, and I said, of course, his wife Jeri could accompany us. This happened several years in a row.

When I asked him to help raise funds for the youth trips with carwashes, suppers, and garage sales, he said yes.

When I asked him to help clean up, paint, and refurbish the old stage at Zion (that hadn’t been used for many years), and help direct stage plays for dinner theaters, with the youth as actors and servers, to again raise funds for youth activities, he said yes.

When I asked him to work on preparations for peace-themed worship services at Zion he said yes.

When I asked him to dress in a Roman toga and serve as the master of ceremonies at a “Latin Banquet” addressing the theme of Zion’s participation in programs and projects of civic responsibility in the community, he said yes.

When I asked him to serve as the chair of audio-visual service at Zion, working with and replacing our equipment, videotaping services and weddings, and training others to serve in that way also, he said yes.

When I asked him to serve as chair of the social action committee for Southeastern Association of the United Church of Christ, he said yes, and he continued thereafter to say yes, serving in many other leadership roles in the association.

When I asked him to substitute for me in preaching and leading worship at Zion, he said yes.

When I asked him to engage in dialogue sermons, interrupting my sermon-in-progress with key questions and observations, or in other ways providing an unexpected and interesting sermon event, he said yes.

When I asked him to help teach a nine month confirmation class he said yes.

When St John UCC north of Burlington had a pastoral vacancy and asked him to serve them he said yes.

When a new program for training lay ministers, CENTER/LEARN, became available, and he had a chance to deepen his understanding of ministry, even though he was working full time for the railroad and serving a church “on the side,” and hundreds more hours would be required over a three year period, he said yes.

When his ministry at St John came to an end and he was seeking another way to serve the church and use his talents, I asked him to lead a third worship service at Zion aimed primarily at young couples with children attending concurrent church school classes, with a minimal honorarium for his services, and he said yes.

When I asked him to renew his license to minister, signing a contract with the association, even though he no longer had a call to one church but was willing to serve any church in pulpit supply or other needs, and even though he faced opposition from some of the ministers who did not think that request was appropriate, he said yes.

When there was a pastoral vacancy at St Paul Church, West Burlington, and I proposed that he, Jim Ritters, and I form a team to serve as their interim ministry for a year, he said yes.

When West Burlington St Paul invited him to return to their ministry part-time when their pulpit was again vacant he said yes, and when St Paul UCC in Donnellson invited him to serve there he said yes.

And when Dean Moberg said yes, he followed through and did what he said he would do, and did not only what was expected, but much more and as well if not better than just about anyone could do it.

So, when asked a few days ago if he would continue to serve as a messenger, and whisper in people’s ears that need encouragement that every day is a gift from God, and every person you meet is a potential friend, and patience is indeed a virtue, and a sense of humor is a requirement not an option, and other essential truths, he said yes, and when asked to appear in people’s dreams and talk about nearly everything up to and including the steadfast loving-kindness of our God, he said yes, of course. He would and he did, and he will keep doing it.

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