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A Mustard Seed Story
It all begins with planting the seed.
A couple of years ago, Gary and Pat Andeen invited some people to their home in Beaverton, Oregon, to meet the PLTS President, Phyllis Anderson and Vice President for Seminary Relations, Joel Wudel. Gary was chairing the PLTS Board of Directors at the time, and was being a faithful friend by inviting Lloyd and Margaret Guenther over for what we’ll call a “fireside chat.” There was a blazing fire in the fireplace. There was certainly chatting. And of course, there were refreshments. Delightful.
About a year later, Lloyd became very ill. After a few months, he died. Margaret was devastated. And lonely.
On their next trip to Portland, Dr. Anderson and Joel arranged to take her out for dinner. Upon arriving to pick up their guest, they came face to face with a note above the doorbell: “Maggie’s Cafe — Come Right In.”
So they did, and for the first time since her dear Lloyd died, Margaret had dinner guests. Maggie served appetizers and wine and an elegant baked chicken dinner with all the trimmings. She told stories about her 60 year marriage. They listened. It was priceless.
As the dinner progressed, the banter turned to the seminary and her possible involvement with it. Would she become a friend to the seminary, as her friends Gary and Pat had long since done? Might she help support its efforts to equip a new generation of leaders? “Well,” she said, “I have an annuity that Lloyd left for me. I suppose I could put you in my will for that.”
“Or,” they replied, “why not just call your Thrivent representative and make the seminary the beneficiary? It will cost you only a stamp and three minutes of your time.”
“Hmmm,” she said. “I’ll give it some thought.”
Well, she didn’t think long. By the middle of the next week, she had it done. She called her representative. He sent the forms. She signed them and put them in the mail. Done.
Nobody expected her to die within the year, but she did. And the remainder of that annuity will come to PLTS, to support the ministry she grew to appreciate through St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Beaverton and her church friends, Gary and Pat Andeen.
That’s how it works. Plant a seed. Get a tree.
We are grateful to Gary and Pat for planting the seed. We honor and remember Lloyd and Margaret Guenther for sheltering us in their branches. And we thank God for sending such dear people into the life of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.