Sabbatical Companions

Who are the people I will travel with or visit between July 1-Oct. 7?

My companion in Ireland will be Joy Donathan. I met Joy my first month in Idaho, November 2010, at the ecumenical 20s-30s Bible Study (back when we were both in our 30s) held at Thomas Hammer Coffee. Joy was the lone Episcopalian and had worked for the Idaho Episcopal Diocese with Rev. Karen Hunter, who now serves Grace Episcopal Church, Nampa. In 2010, Joy was finishing earning her teaching certificate from BSU. She went on to teach math at Frank Church High School and North Junior High. After earning her master’s in education from Michigan State, program housed in Galway, Ireland, she pursued her dream of teaching overseas and moved to Abu Dhabi (UAE). That was two years ago. I think both of us would trace the nurturing of our friendship to five summers of attending the Idaho Shakespeare Festival together.

I will travel to Prince Edward Island with my childhood friend (we’re talking Custer Elementary and Sunday School at Custer Lutheran Fellowship) Jennifer Cerfogli and Jennifer’s oldest daughter/my goddaughter Celia, age 13. Jennifer and husband Frank also have twins Ann and Sofia and their youngest is Henry. Our friendship never would have faded but we were blessed during most of my time as a pastor in Iowa to live only 2.5 hours apart. Jennifer, a veterinarian, finished a fellowship in Oregon and came back to get another degree from Iowa State University, Ames. She served on the faculty there for many years but last fall she was hired by Texas A & M, College Station.

I will be staying with my parents, Linde and Jerry, in Custer, SD. I will spend time with my half-brother Steve and sister-in-law Peggy. For a few days, I will accompany Pastor Larry Peterson, an old family friend who has spent much of his life pastoring on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and has recently been the major driver behind founding the Woyatan Retreat Center in Rapid City, SD. Our lives first crossed professionally when Larry was serving on the South Dakota Synod Candidacy Committee. He conducted my entrance exam to candidacy at a picnic bench in Hill City, SD. Of interest to some Trinity members, he happens to be the brother of Ann Sansgaard, wife of Dick Sansgaard, who served as Trinity’s interim pastor before you called me. It can be a small Lutheran world.

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