Seventeen years have passed since Brian and Allyson were baptized together on Fathers Day by Pastor Kevin. It was around 1997 when I took a job as a school nurse for Washington Lutheran School (it’s now called Abiding Savior Lutheran School). I worked there 12 hours a week and did 16 hours a week in the burn unit. After about a year or so the school secretary Iris invited me to church and I went. Pastor Kirk was a former psychiatric nurse and I loved him. He talked so fast and gave awesome messages. After some time a call was placed for a second pastor and Kevin Wendt answered the call. I was not happy about this as there was only one Pastor and that was Kirk. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t even going to like this Kevin guy, like ever. Then Pastor Kevin showed up and I’m pretty sure God was laughing his head off because it was love at first sight. First of all he was super easy on the eyes and secondly he spoke so well and totally kept me engaged. I talked about him all the time and I think Brian finally came to church to size up his competition.
Brian did not go to church as a family when he was growing up. He did go with his friend to Catholic mass either on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings. Both of Brian’s parents grew up in church but never really went after that well until Pastor Kevin. Anyway Brian soon learned that you could follow Jesus and still watch football, drink beer and cuss occasionally. Pastor Kevin is a cheese head and followed football, when not preaching he would be known to say a curse word and he drank beer occasionally. So before too long Brian started coming to church every week. His sister and her son Kyle were attending as well and then Brian’s parents started coming too. All of this from one invite from Iris.
After Allyson was born and it was time to have her baptized, Brian decided he wanted to be baptized as well. Neither he nor his brother or sister were baptized as infants so he felt the calling to do it as an adult and who better to do it than Pastor Kevin. And so seventeen years ago they were both baptized. Emily and Kayla were sick as dogs that morning so Beverly (the lady who watched the girls) skipped the baptism and watched them for us. Pastor Kevin even came by the house later that day for the party and risked catching their sickness.
I was wondering today how different my life would have been if Iris hadn’t invited me to church that day. Would I have ever had found a church home? Would Brian have ever realized you can follow Jesus and not be a jug head? You can be a cool, extremely good-looking Pastor, who loves football. Would I have ever found Oak Bridge or my love of teenagers?
Mole Moral ~ One invite really can make a difference. My family is living proof!