Tag Archives: St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church

Remembering Dr. Kari Egge

Dr. Kari Egge was a saint, though she would never use such a title.  She lived her faith in her vocation.  Her death this week stirred all kinds of memories for me, since she was active in the high school youth group at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi when I first came on their staff. Kari’s brain was always working, asking deep questions that I could rarely answer.  Yet she had a passionate heart that saw the needs of the world. She went off to college at George Washington University and then into Humanitarian Aid work with such diverse organizations as the Peace Corp, Catholic Relief Services and the American Red Cross. She played key leadership roles in responding to various disaster’s world-wide from the drought in Southern Africa to the tsunami in Indonesia. She received her doctorate in Public Health from Tulane where she studied HIV/Aids and how to treat it in the developing parts of the world.

I remember one particular conversation with her when she was home visiting her parents. I had an idealistic view of her relief work, thinking how wonderful it must be to help people in need.

Her response brought me back to reality, “Much of what I do is simply handle the bureaucratic mess. I am often tired and overwhelmed; we are usually short of key supplies or personnel and the local government often restricts everything we try to do.”

“So, Kari, what keeps you going?”

“I am not sure, but often some good comes. Some people are helped . . . or lived who would have died. I sense God has a hand in that.”

Kari could have lived a very productive, meaningful life here in the United States. She had a sharp mind and wit, a fun spirit, and caring heart. Instead of staying here, she heeded the call to meet the critical needs of people in distant lands. She lived out Jesus’ command to love our neighbor as ourselves.

When she was diagnosed with terminal cancer she did not dwell on her approaching death (though she did make some rather grim jokes about it), but rather how it affect her two young children, Dylan and Isabelle. She loved them, her parents and the many friends she made around the world. I will miss her.

Lord Jesus, grant comfort to all who grieve the death of Kari Egge.  Thank you for her faithful witness of compassion.

Running Club Passion and Pain

One of my passions is consistent aerobic exercise. However my passion has been inconsistent, waxing and waning through the years. Through most of my adult life, I have had spurts of consistent running, only to be sidelined by the “urgency” of my daily life. This was especially true when my children were little.

The Running Club in a non-running moment

Then in the winter of 1999 Tim Torgerson approached me about starting a church-based marathon training group. He was looking towards October’s Twin City Marathon. I was gullible and naïve and so said yes. The training group started in March, running together on Saturday mornings. Each week we were accountable to each other. I had a training schedule to keep and people checking on me.

However a dreaded “running injury” struck and I had to take a month out in June for physical therapy. Still I felt this need/desire to be back with the group as quickly as possible. Finally on October 3, 1999, I finished TCM with seven others from the group. After our suceess “the training group” became a year-round running club.

Over the next ten years the St. Andrew’s Running Club gave me the support and encouragement to finish ten marathons. Last summer when I finished Grandma’s, I knew I needed a break to recover from some nagging injuries. Later I said good-bye to St. Andrew’s Running Club as I followed God’s call to Resurrection Lutheran. After a long winter of physical therapy, I am now finally ready to start running. Last week I was able to do three runs of 2-3 miles.

I have also discovered a new joy with cycling. Last Wednesday Dave Johnson from Resurrection showed me some of the great bike routes nearby. Yesterday I biked with Tim and Dan and needed their support as I experienced my first three flats.

Through these experiences, I have discovered that I benefit from a group to help me stay consistent in running or cycling. Which leads me to a question: Is anyone interested in a running or cycling club based here at Resurrection? Let me know.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another, Proverbs 27:17

Lord Jesus, lead us into the fellowship groups you want us to have so that we might live the vibrant life.

To Run or To Clean

This morning I had a decision to make.  One choice was to attend the Cemstone Run for Others, a 5K or 10K road race at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, my old congregation.  I co-directed the race for over ten years and the lead pastor, John Hogenson, invited me to attend.  My other choice was to help with the spring cleaning projects at Resurrection Lutheran, my new call.

For various reasons, I decided to help with clean up at Resurrection.   For one thing, the clean up would all be in doors, and this morning’s weather was raw with a cold wind and snow.  I always enjoyed running in the Run for Others, but this year I am still in recovery mode and would not have been able to run.  I certainly would have enjoyed seeing the many colleagues, congregants and community members at the race in spite of the weather.  They are many deep relationships there for me.

Everyone can help at Resurrection

Still I enjoyed my morning at Resurrection.   Allison and Owen are two young kids who came with their dad, Ian, to help out.  They vacuumed up the small metal shavings on the tables that Ian and I repaired.  They also helped sharpen pencils and clean some of the carpet.  At a recent new member class Allison and Owen helped me carry out some of the garbage and then we had a wonderful adventure exploring the nooks and crannies of their new church.  Their participation along with the twenty adults who came made this a memorable morning for me.  For me, a new fellowship of caring relationships is forming.

When a pastor moves to a new congregation, it can be tough to bring closure to the many relationships at the old congregation.   I realize that has been a challenge for me. Yet the greatest joy comes in being open to the new relationships at Resurrection.   This is where God has called me and where I plan to give my emotional and spiritual energy for many years to come. 

Someday I may run again in the Cemstone Run for Others.   But it wouldn’t be the day when Allison, Owen, Ian and I are doing our spring cleaning.