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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 16, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas 6 A HeraldZeitung Friday June Church Life To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about Church Life call 6259144 ext 21 Church Life Church Briefs Assembly of Lutherans to meet In San Antonio The ninth assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Americas Southwestern Texas Synod will meet under the theme Our Life Together in Christ on June 2224 at the Municipal Auditorium in San Antonio Keynote speaker for the assembly will be the Rev Dr Patrick Keifert associate pro fessor of systematic theology at Luther Seminary in St Paul Minn He will address the assembly Friday morning and afternoon and again on Saturday morning Bishop James E Bennett will preside for the first time during assembly business sessions following tys election as bishop at the 1994 assem bly The representative of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Americas ELCA church wide office at the assembly will be the Rev Dr Mark Thomsen executive director of the ELCAs Division for Global Mission Registration for the assem bly will open in the foyer of the auditorium at 3 on Thursday A festival worship service will begin at 7 at Grace Lutheran Church Approximately 800 voting members nonvoting mem bers and visitors are expected to attend the threeday assembly The 1995 assembly is host ed by the synods San Antonio Conference The Rev Dr John Braulick senior pastor of Shepherd King Lutheran Church in San Antonio has served as chair of the assem bly planning committee Keifert joined the Luther Seminary faculty in 1980 and has also been an adjunct pro fessor at the School of Law Hamline University in St Paul since 1984 Thomsen has served as executive director of the Division for Global Mission since the formation of the ELCA in 1987 He was direc tor of the Division for World Mission and InterChurch Cooperation of the American Lutheran Church one of the ELCAs predecessor bodies from 198187 Headquartered in San Antonio the Southwestern Texas Synod has a baptized membership of per sons Children gather in The Upper Room Last Wednesday evening began the second year of the ecumenical teen summer pro gram called The Upper Room This program is designed to provide a Christian atmosphere for weekly Bible study prayer food and fellowship for the youth of New Braunfels grades 9 through 12 Five churches have joined together to sponsor the weekly program Sts Peter and Paul Catholic St Johns Episcopal St Paul Lutheran First United Methodist and First Protestant The Upper Room will be held in the activity center at Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church 236 W Bridge from June 7 through July 5 after which time it will move to St Paul Lutheran for the remaining of the summer July 12 through Aug 9 The Upper Room is held every Wednesday from to 11 Exploring Gods Kingdom at Vacation Bible School St Johns Episcopal Church will be holding a Vacation Bible School July 1014 9 to for all children in the New Braunfels area Exploring Gods Kingdom An adventure in Prayer will be taught to chil dren ages 4 through entering fourth grade Preregistration is being held now Forms are available in the church office 312 S Guenther or call 6252532 for more infor mation A LIFETIME OF SERVICE Pastor of Sts Peter Paul Church logs 40 years in ministry By DOUG LOVEDAY Managing Editor He has served as shepherd of the Sts Peter Paul Catholic Church flock for more than 10 years but Monsignor Eugene OCallaghan has been a servant of God and his fellow man for many more years Father OCallaghan is celebrating 40 years in the ministry this year 40 years in which the challenges have changed but the drive and will to serve have not I think that call to help others is still there for me even after 40 OCallaghan said That perseverance and dedication is proof he thinks of the genuineness of his calling It was in Cork a rural county in Ireland that OCallaghan discovered the importance of fam ily and Christian values he said There I was seeing a lot of the natural law of God The values I grew up with were very he said And today the 65yearold pastor of Sts Peter Paul Catholic Church is even more convinced of the sacred and vital role families play in our lives When I came to Texas 40 years ago the word divorce was not the normal thing to hear or the happy thing to do at he said Now we have HeraldZeitung Dtmlo by MICHAEL DARNALU Monsignor Eugene OCallaghan has served at Sts Peter Paul Catholic Church for 10 years a lot of singleparent families in the church We have to train ourselves better to help them as much as possible We are in a terrific journey through life and everyone must be taken by the hand and helped along the journey whether they are single parents or Father OCallaghan attended seminary in Ire land and accepted a call to ministry in San Anto nioin955 He next served the Church in Victoria before moving on to Palacios and the PortlandPort Lavaca areas he said He was pastor of a church in Schulenburg before returning to San Antonio It was 10 ago that he joined the Sts Peter Paul Catholic Church family Tve benefited from serving with the multieth nic groups in Texas Theres a great richness people1 he said One of the things hes done is recruit Catholic priests for the Archdiocese in San Antonio but service to his fellow man has been his most ful filling work Ive seen peoplesi lives change as a result of the Word of God Thats an exciting thing and is very rewarding to see I have done nothing fantastic or extraordi nary in my life but what talents God has given me I hope Ive used those her said Father OCallaghan has given 40 years of ser vice to God the Church and others but hes not through just yet I hope Ill be able to stay here and help the people at Sts Peter he said I A stranger in the house Isla Giefer Daniels By ISLA GIEFER DANIELS Special to the HeraldZeitung Note I am the mother of five chil dren 4 of which are girls We had a happy sane almost a storybook fami ly until our oldest daughter became a teenager I began to talk to God quite a bit but He never seemed to answer me until the day I sat down with pen and paper The needarose for me to write a speech for a speech contest I was at my lowest point as a the mother of a child I no longer knew As the words began to flow into the paper I knew this was Gods way answering my questions This is my gift to you who have a stranger in your A cool damp morning in Feb ruary clad in nightgown and robe thinking I heard a noise I quietly opened her bedroom door There covered in blankets up to her chin lay a lovely looking 15yearold girl I dont know her well although she has been living here about three years She seems to have this strange power over us We find ourselves run ning errands for her taking her where she wants to go waiting up for her when she comes in late We feed her clothe her and give her money We listen to her deafening music her bad grammar and boisterous voice Who is this stranger with such pow ers I checked up on her recently Her birth certificate shows she belongs to IS WRONG Yes we did have a caring quiet talking proper grammar appreciated good music and polite But she left three years ago about the time this stranger moved in As I look at her lying there I think back trying to remember the day she came and our little girl left Perhaps her room will give me a clue as to what happened to our little girl The waterbed Maybe we acci dentally tossed our little girl out with the old bed and this one came with the waterbed Or did it happen when the rock star posters were tacked on the wall or the Do Not Enter sign was put on the door That was it She did a switch on us when we put the tele phone in the room and the Do Not Enter sign was put on the door This saddens me What happened to our little girl and why did this stranger have to move in I miss my lit tle girl I dont know how 1 missed it but there on her pillow lay an envelope As I looked closer it read A MESSAGE FROM Oh it couldnt be How did it get there Was that the noise I heard Carefully I picked it up and quietly left the room closing the door behind me I walked downstairs sat on the sofa and with trembling hands 1 opened the envelope In it was a letter A LETTER FROM GOD Dear Parents It is time you stranger you are keeping is My child Yes she is that same little girl you held in your arms when she was born She has changed hasnt she Dont be foolish You never lost your daughter for how can you lose something that isnt yours to begin with She belongs to Me as you belong to Me You are her parents because that was part of My plan not yours I know there are times you won der why you chose to be am here to tell you I am the Almighty and you had no choice I may sound firm but I do all out of love Everything I give is a miracle You are a miracle and your child is a miracle both bom out of love There comes a time I have to claim My them for what is ahead This is what is done in what you call the teenage years I know it is confusing but it has to be that way Their struggle makes them stronger and all you have to do is have faith in Me If you look in the Book I had written it is in Luke chapters 24 There it shows how even Jesus pulled away from His earthly parents and they did not understand either He was 12 years old when they took a trip to the temple and Jesus stayed His parents searched for Him and His mother said Son why have you done this to us I have been searching for you in He said Why did you search for me Did you not know I had to be in My Fathers house But they did not grasp what He said Your child is pulling away from you also She does not understand as Jesus did but how can she belong to Me is she is still clinging to you There will come a time when I will let her know 1 am her Father just as I did when Jesus was baptized I came down and announced You are My beloved You my favor Let me warn you times will not be easy for her but I dont ask anything of her that I didnt ask of Jesus Before He could do My will I set temptations before Him I sent the greatest of temp tations Satan to tempt Him but as I did this I never once left His side as I will never leave your daughters The Holy Spirit was with Him while He was in the desert and he was tested to the greatest lengths but He chose Me over evil At that point I knew He was ready So do not fret about temptations that lay ahead for her I will be there and she will choose for herself You cannot make the decision for her but you can have faith in Me 1 am the Almighty who loves you and her I know what I am doing Now that 1 have spoken to you I ask but one more thing Keep loving her as I take her hands in mine for through love she will know I am her Carefully 1 put the letter down I walked upstairs opened the door which said Do Not I looked at her lying there She didnt look like a stranger anymore I bent over kissed her warm cheek and said Wake up Life passes quickly and lives are changed in an instant Dennis Gallaher Daily This past Saturday the sirens of summer were beginning with a vengeance in our neighborhood located on the banks of the Guadalupe River Following the first ambulance scream came a second then a third and a fourth From the yard where we watched it was obviously not your normal river accident Something serious must have taken place Something that required much attention It turned out to be another cliff jumper Jumping off of the cliff into the water is quite a sport to the tourists who really dont believe there is much if any real danger Every year though there is at least one paraplegic and often a death when someone hits the water wrong There doesnt seem to be any way to convince people to stop They climb over fences risk arrest tear down signs and conquer all fear to jump from that stupid cliff And that is what he the water wrong surfaced for a moment and then slipped under the water and drowned Twentytwo years old married too young for this to happen But it did and now they searched for his body under the shadow of the cliff The scene was morbidly carnivallike By now the homeowners park was filled with ambulances emer gency vehicles water rescue personnel newspeople and onlookers who wanted to know what happened The search went on for some time while the truth slow ly gripped the mans friends who huddled together com forting one another in shocked refusal The anguish of it all entombed them with grief and unbelief What had started out as a day on the river was now the worst day of their lives How could this have happened But the rest of the people They were mostly curious and just part of the scene The professionals were detached The rescue personnel simply doing their job The funeral home people kindly resigned to the task And the onlookers standing and staring Not connected to the fact that a per son was now dead Those who were enjoying a nice day on the river watched as the lifeless figure was hauled into the rescue boat and carted to shore And then as if nothing had hap pened the place in the river where the body had come from was almost instantly taken over by rafts and tubes from upstream It was like looking for the hole after you throw a rock in the water Within seconds nothing lingers to sug gest the event By now hundreds have passed over the very place that he died And yet there are no flowers no white crosses no memorials no fear of interrupting a sacred place of death Just another bend in the river Thats how quickly life passes How abruptly it can end How unfair and decisive death is In a moment of time you are traveling along with hundreds of others looking for the good times and a little excitement The next moment you are in eternity Your only baggage being the response of your life to your Heavenly Maker Naked you came and naked you will go In an instant that young man tubing down the river with his friends came before God In an instant he experienced more reality than in his entire lifetime He saw God nose to nose Death did not wait for him to be prepared It did not warn him It did not steady his gaze It never spoke before it took And so a family is in deep grief this week A vacation to the Hill Country became a tragedy beyond belief This week was filled with hastily made plans for a tragic al for a man too young to die Ongoing anguish But life just goes on for us This weekend the Guadalupe will be filled with tourists More than one will at least attempt a jump off the cliff Thousands will pass the place of tragic death without even a thought that we are always just one breath way from eternity But it doesnt have to be that way No sir not for a moment Somewhere in Indiana there is a tombstone over a hun dred years old that bears this epitaph Pause Stranger when you pass me by As you are now so once was I As I am now so you will be So prepare for death and follow An unknown passerby had read those words and scratched this reply below them To follow you Im not content Until 1 know which way you Which way are you headed today Are you just a part of the carnival of life an onlooker to the tragedies who doesnt know your own frailty What would you say if your next breath was of celestial air What would your first thought be if today you came face to face with your Mak er Someone once said that a man cannot die will unless he has lived well and a man cannot live well unless he knows how to die well To die well is to die already at peace with God To die well is to know the comfort of having a rela tionship with Jesus Christ It is really no more complicat ed than that So think about it wont you Because 1 really care about where youre headed Step out of the crowd of onlookers for a moment to really look where you are headed Now is the time to prepare for when you there Because once you are face to face with God its too late to get ready Dennis Gallaher is pastor of Freedom Fellowship Church in New Austin church choir to lead local service The Choir of Peace Lutheran Church of Austin will be leading Songs of the Body of Christ at Peace Lutheran Church here in New Braunfels on Saturday June 17 at Songs of the Body of is a worship service that will include a diverse selection of hymns including hymns written in the past 10to20years The congregation will partici pate significantly in the service through hymn singing with the chojr The public is invited to attend this one hour celebration of music Religion briefs Poll Deep In Religion MOBILE Ala AP A survey found a majority of Alabama resi dents believe the Bible is the infallible word of God and heaven and hell are real Results of polling by the Mobile Press Register and the University of South Alabama confirm the states deep roots in religion Ninetynine percent of those polled said they believe in some sort of heav en 95 percent believe in some sort of hell and 86 percent believe in Satan or an evil spirit According to the poll 53 percent of Alabama residents agree that EveryI word of the Bible comes straight from God and is completely free of while 38 percent say The Bible is inspired by God but may contain some historical and scientif ic Catholic Lutheran Mean on Marriage Manual ST PAUL Minn AP Leader of the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church America have signed a document intended to help interfaith couple identify volatile nutters that may come up in their marriages
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