I wish to stop and share my day at the Lutheran Heritage Center with you. It started with our Wednesday morning Summer Bible Study of the Psalms. Each of the sessions has been great. You can watch them on our Facebook page. Today was Psalm 77. I’m a historian, but not a Bible scholar, so each of these sessions have held an epiphany for me. I think about the study session throughout the week. This Psalm 77, is a whopper for those of us living through the stress of 2020. It starts with internalized whining and ends with moving out of the self into the presence, history, and holiness of God. Pastor Benkendorf lead us well, and I am grateful for the little group that comes each week to practice safe togetherness and group study-a refreshing concept these days.
Following Bible Study, I worked in the lower level archives. Our team has spent many hours this spring-summer creating some long overdue and tedious organization of the extensive artifact and archival collections. We are blessed with great space, climate control, awesome shelving, super lighting, and a vault. Soon, we will be able to add ‘extensive cataloging’ and database improvements to this vital part of our site. While housing some artifacts this afternoon, I worked on a very special collection from the late Shorty and Leona Kaempfe’s daughters, Sandy and Martha. The collection has numerous sweet things, but my favorite was Leona’s Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) “mite box.” LWML is personally very special to me. I use the example of the “Widow’s Mite” in many public speaking engagements when I talk about donations to museums. Our museum patrons, all of YOU, have given us the best you have, and this is a vital key in our site’s success. LWML endowed us with grant funds last year to replace the lobby flooring, and to purchase sound enhancement devices for group tours. Those devices have been a blessing during our recent Bible Study sessions. They help us hear the leader while sitting socially distanced.
Finally, I was settling in to rest a bit this evening and received a message from our dear museum patron, Carolyn Vernon McCaleb. Everyone close to me, knows my passion for art. Carolyn shared with me a photo of her nephew-Jered Sprecher’s-painting. It was a “wow” for me. Jered is an art professor at University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, and has many other prestigious art prizes. Of course, my wheels immediately started turning about a future exhibition here. Check out Jered’s work at the UT-K website.
Today has been full of treasures, and the best is this wonderful team of people who help keep this place moving forward, with God as our center. This evening, it all returns to Psalm 77 for me. Come and see us. We are here every day. Love, Carla Jordan