Local church bids goodbye to beloved
By Susan Johnson
By Susan Johnson
In an outpouring of appreciation centered around last Sundays services, 467 St. Paul Lutheran Church members bade a fond and at times tearful farewell to their senior pastor, Rev. Scott Malme.
Rev. Malme, who has served the large west-side congregation along with Associate Pastor L. Paul Ferguson, recently accepted a call to Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Green Bay, Wis. St. Paul actually has two sites, 600 N. Horsman St., where the main church is located, and 4881 Kilburn Avenue. Both sites are in use every Sunday, which sometimes results in a pastor arriving breathlessly after leaving the Kilburn Avenue site to join a service already in progress at North Horsman (the central site).
It was no different on August 26, except that the 10:30 a.m. service at the central site was delayed about 15 minutes until the Malme family arrived from the northwest site. In a special service of celebration with all the choirs participating, people filled the church for the final sendoff. Rev. Malmes wife, Christine, was also feted at the reception and luncheon held in the St. Paul Parish Hall following the services. In their nine years at St. Paul, Mrs. Malme often contributed her musical talents, directing the choir, playing the organ, piano and harp. Various speakers including M.C. Steve Hartenberger; Pastor Ferguson; John Johnson, president of the Chancel Choir; and St. Paul School Principal Richard Keske, paid tribute and presented gifts to the Malme family. The Malmes also received a special collection taken up by the congregation as a whole, to help with their moving expenses. Festivities included bits of humor, such as spelling out the letters of the Malmes names and what they meant to the congregation. Theres only one problem with your preaching, joked Steve Hartenberger. It always hits the nail right on the head.
Visibly moved by the lavish expressions of love and support from the congregation, Pastor Malme concluded the 10:30 service by relating a story he had always wanted to include in a sermon but never did. I see you reflected in the cross, he told the congregation. Illustrating his point by facing the bronze cross on the altar, he explained that when the lights fell on it, he could see the faces of the congregation reflected in the metal cross. You are the church, he told them.
The Malmes have three children and are in the process of completing their move to Green Bay. A special installation service will be held for the pastor on Sunday, September 9 at Pilgrim Lutheran in Green Bay. Some of the St. Paul members have chartered a bus so they can attend the service there.
St. Paul belongs to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and their next order of business is to call a senior pastor to fill the vacancy.