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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Seminary President Election Process


In his role as Chairman of the Board of Regents, Wayne was responsible for the entire transition process at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The responsibilities included coordinating activities with the synodical president, synod's Board of Directors, the seminary's Board of Regents, the candidates, and President and Mrs. Wenthe. Wayne directed the entire process that involved the candidate interviews, the election, reporting the election decision to all the candidates, and announcing the decision to the entire church body. Wayne and I met with our dear friends, President and Mrs. Wenthe, to bid them farewell and place closure on his wonderful presidency of fifteen years. Wayne also choreographed the farewell banquet to the Wenthe's, gift to the Wenthe's from us, and retirement package to President Wenthe from the Regents. Following the announcement to the synod of the election results, Wayne then met with the new seminary president to strategically plan into the seminary's future. We also met with the new president and his wife to congratulate them on the new position and encourage them in their new roles. It was a tremendously busy week, very fulfilling and gratifying.

I was moved to write the haiku poem below after Wayne made the announcement to the synod and we were inundated with overwhelming words of kindness and gratitude that touched us deeply:

"Wayne's magnificent!"
Synod's president told me;
"Best process ever!"

"Wayne's fair, kind, and wise . . .
Leads with grace, humor, and skill --
Charity prevails."

The Regents spoke praise:
"Never been in a process
So capably led!"

Honor and integrity
Mark his leadership."

Grateful thanks come from
The candidates and spouses
Who felt uplifted;

Regents, who applaud
His outstanding leadership,
Work effectively.

Thank You, God, for Wayne;
Koininia thrives through him --
A gift to the church.

Kathy Graumann
May 21, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

To Ronda Mayfield

A Haiku Poem from Kathy Graumann
As You Leave S.L.S. May 2011

Farewell, dear Ronda!
Our years with you have been grand . . .
Awesome memories!

We’ll surely miss you –
None can ever take your place;
You’ve been a blessing!

Professional gal,
You have served with distinction;
Department is sound.

With love for children,
And service to parents, too . . .
Unique ministry.

Special ed.’s secure,
The department is better
Because you’ve been here.

As you journey on
May joy and success follow;
God will go with you.

To Kari Penrose

A Haiku Poem as You Leave S.L.S.
May 2011

Farewell, dear Kari;
How thankful we are for you!
You have blessed Salem.

Among the students
Your excellence is noted;
Parents are grateful.

Your colleagues join me:
You are appreciated;
We all will miss you.

May God go with you
And bless your family, too,
As you journey on.

From Wayne and Kathy Graumann

Sunday, May 22, 2011


May 21, 2011

What a glorious week
At Fort Wayne seminary --
Good-by and Hello . . .

Good-by to Wenthe's
As retirement begins;
Thanks for fifteen years!

You've graced the campus
With competent leadership;
The church has been blessed.

May retirement
Be all you hope it to be;
Peace and joy to you!

Hello to the Rast's,
New president of the sem,
Called to serve the Lord.

Ordained for service,
You'll lead into the future;
God will equip you.

Regents support you,
The faculty affirms you . . .
Ministry awaits!

Friday, May 20, 2011

To Honor Linda Wenthe, A Haiku Poem

The Board of Regents,
Recognizing your value,
Honors you today.

Beautifully poised,
Thoughtful, kind, and creative;
You brighten each day.

In service to God:
Elegance with excellence . . .
Trademarks of your touch.

Without attention
You do much behind the scenes --
The Sem benefits.

Arranging events,
Accomplishments unnumbered,
You promote God's work.

Giving much with your
Generous spirit and heart --
We've been blessed by you.

A godly model,
You are appreciated;
May God now bless you.

Kathy Graumann
May 19, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16, 2011

-- A Haiku Poem --
By Kathy Graumann

Sixty-third birthday . . .
Repositioning is near;
How will God use us?

Kenya, Latvia,
Or some other mission post?
Where will we serve Him?

We'll follow His call
Wherever He may lead us --
Our hearts are willing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


The Power of Words


Bible Verse:

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) - Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Additional Bible Readings:

Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 11:13; Psalm 19:14; James 3:5,6


Words are powerful. With words we can build up our Christian brother and sister, encouraging them to use their gifts and abilities to become all that God created them to be. With words we can foster positive self-talk in others, laying the foundation for wholesome character development and confident living. With words we can bring healing and comfort to hurting hearts, infusing them with hope and trust in the grace, mercy, and providence of God.

Words, on the other hand, can gravely hurt another. Words can cause pain and destruction, dishonoring God and harming others. May our gracious Father create clean hearts within us so that the powerful words we speak may represent Jesus Christ to those who hear.

Dear Father, I confess that I have sinned with words I have spoken. May the words of my mouth be acceptable in your sight, O Lord.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Ask forgiveness from someone who has been harmed by your hurtful words.

Tell Me a Story

Remembering the mighty works of God and His watch care in our lives is a high priority for God’s people, because it is a high priority for God Himself. To “remember the days of old (and to) consider the years of many generations” pleases the Lord who continues in Deuteronomy 32:7, “…ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.” In the Old Testament, the Children of Israel were urged to remember how God brought them out of slavery “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm (Deuteronomy 5:15).” Faith in God is nurtured and confidence for the future is strengthened when we remember how God has faithfully intervened in our lives in the past and kept His promises to us.

Bible Reading
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. I will ponder all Your work, and meditate on Your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:11, 12”

Share with a young person a personal story from your past that demonstrates God’s faithfulness to you.

Exodus 12:21; Psalm 105:5; Lamentations 3:22,23

Dear Father, thank You for Your faithfulness that endures to all generations, for Your steadfast love that never ceases, and for Your mercies that never come to an end. Help me convey these stories to others in order to connect them more closely to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Proclaiming God’s Faithfulness for 160 years
1851 - 2011
Between 1849 and 1854, over one million people left Germany, the majority traveling to America. During this time, a small group of German Lutherans began gathering at Spring Creek in a community that was soon to be called Rose Hill. Compared to the glorious hilltops of Europe, it was only a simple hill, but from this hill, history was to be made.
The history of Salem Lutheran Church of Rosehill was impacted by the medieval community of Bettingen, Switzerland, near Basel, on the Rhine River where the borders of Switzerland, Germany, and France converge. Into this beautiful setting, God placed a man of vision who would change the course of history for a people he would never see. Christian Spittler had a heart burdened for service in the Kingdom of God. In 1840, he founded the Pilgermision St. Chrischona, located on the highest hill in Basel for the purpose of training missionaries to bring the Gospel to German-speaking people in Switzerland and elsewhere in the world.
The reality of a large German immigration, reportedly numbering 16,000, attracted to Texas with no Lutheran pastor in the entire state was the subject of numerous periodicals that requested clergy and echoed the grave concern about the state of German morality in the Texas wilderness. As these troubling messages tumbled onto his desk, Christian Spittler determined to focus the American mission efforts of St. Chrischona on Texas alone.
In 1851, the lives of Caspar Braun, a Chrischona graduate, and Heinrich Braschler, a Swiss teacher, intersected. After being instructed and ordained by Pastor Braun, Heinrich Braschler became the first pastor to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the settlers at Spring Creek. On July 20, 1851, Pastor Braschler preached his first sermon to the assembled people. On October 12, 1851, the first congregational assembly was held to plan and organize the church at Spring Creek. Significant days were just on the horizon as God was putting into place the people and the circumstances that would enlarge His Kingdom in this new state.
In 1853, Salem’s Pastor Johann Ebinger wrote to his professors at St. Chrischona that he was conducting school in a log cabin, our first documented record of the existence of a Lutheran school in the Salem congregation. German immigrants continued to arrive and make their homes among the Lutherans of Rose Hill. Pastor Ebinger wrote also of the missionary work he was doing in the Rose Hill/Brenham area. From Salem’s earliest days we read of the missionary spirit that, not only prompted the founding of Salem, but has been woven as a continuous thread throughout Salem’s history.
Salem’s history includes: the Civil War years that witnessed the explosion at Powder Mill; the Galveston storm of 1900; the founding of Tomball in 1907; World War I; the discovery of oil in Tomball in 1933; World War II; the fiery destruction in 1964 of the historic church of 1880; the Viet Nam War; rebuilding the Worship Center in 1966; dedication of the new Educational Center on Salem’s campus in 1990; dedication of the Community Center in 2008.
Then, in March 1978, Pastor Graumann came to Salem, joining Marty & Karen Paluch, teachers at Tomball Lutheran School as the only staff employed by Salem. God has blessed Salem richly under Pastor Graumann’s leadership. In August 1981, Pastor Dommer came on staff, and in March 2006, Pastor Niekerk began ministry at Salem.
In November 1995, the beautiful church that sat beside the current Family Center burned to the ground. One year later, at Thanksgiving 1996, the present 2,000-seat Worship Center was dedicated. Throughout its history, Salem Lutheran Church of Rosehill has been prompted by a missionary zeal and an enduring pioneer spirit that embraces the lost and hurting with the message of Jesus Christ. This is the spirit of Salem…a pioneer spirit that, by God’s grace, will endure from generation to generation as we “tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done.” (Psalm 78:4)


(A Haiku Poem)
Throughout life’s journey
Change is inevitable.
How will I respond?

Shall I resist change,
Criticizing the process,
Showing reluctance?

I will examine
Facts offered that call for change.
What does God’s Word say?

The Lord counsels me;
He gives courage to embrace
Transitions I face.

Envision the goal,
Picture the preferred future,
Reflect, dialogue.

Life is filled with change,
Transitions to act upon—
We follow His call.

I meet each challenge;
I need not fear the future…
My God is with me.

Kathy Graumann
April 30, 2011