132 YEARS OF SERVICE to Southern Minnesota
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128 North Broadway, New Richland, MN 56072
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They came: from the east, from the west, from the north, from the south, as all roads led to the Soup and Pie (Dessert) Supper at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church, rural Albert Lea.

They came: in cars, in pickups, in SUVs, in shuttle buses, to the supper.

Men, women, kids, old people, young people, in-between ages, tall, short, slim, not so slim, farmers, teachers, preachers, social security recipients, present social security payers into the fund. You name it—every occupation was represented.

The net proceeds were split evenly between Chelsey Johnson (an ELCA young adult in Global Mission in Canada for a year) and Hospice of Albert Lea.

As you drove into the church parking lot, you were helped by parking lot attendees: Great Uncle Roger Wangen, Howard Johnson, Barry Moszer and Wayne Indrelie (Grandpa Gene Wangen was a Jack-of-all-trades volunteer). At your special entrance door, you were greeted by Aunt Shelly Capistrant and Bob Hanson.

Once inside, you left your non-perishable food items for the local food shelves. On to Roger Thompson, who asked if you were or weren’t a Thrivent member, as Thrivent provided supplemental funds for the benefit.

Next was Albert and Becky Thofson collecting your payment to get in and eat. Then it was on to music by Ken Bertelson, or into the dining room as directed by Ole Olson. At the dining room entrance you were greeted by hostess Grandma Diane Wangen as she directed you to the food and seating either inside or under the tent on the patio.

Once at your table, you were served by many, including relatives Don Anderson, Glen and Patty Parsons, Great Aunt Clarice, plus many others, including non-Central Church members and other relatives.

I was asked how many of Central’s members were involved in the supper—my answer was, “All of them.”

Whether it was attending, bringing food, advertising the event, whatever; every member helped in some way. A special thanks is extended to chair, Great Aunt Mary Ann Atchison, along with thanks to Gary Goette, Kathy Legried and Ole Olson for helping in leading the volunteer workers.


P.S. Any relative designations are relatives of Chelsey.


Short Shorts:

A. 502 people were served

B. Next year’s (2018) event will be a Monday after Labor Day, most likely the 24th

C. A special thanks to the youth first-time volunteers

D. Genie had relatives that received hospice help in Mason City

E. I had relatives that received hospice help in Owatonna

F. God, the US flag, and the United States of America are the three requirements for any rural America event to be a success. Yes, this was a successful example of rural America in action.



Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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