Monday, May 13, 2013

Proud moment in Chicago

My grandfather - Henry Droogsma - was a very devout man who, with my grandmother Anna, raised eight children on a farm outside of Princeton, Minnesota. He spent his entire life attending the Christian Reformed Church of Pease, Minnesota - a place I wrote about here - and I'm told that he had hopes that someday one of his children might feel a calling to the ministry. That didn't happen, although I believe my father and all of his siblings served in various church capacities over the years....Sunday school teachers, board members, elders, deacons, mission trip leaders, etc.

Those eight Droogsma kids produced 30-some offspring - my first cousins - and again, while many of us have served the church in various ways, none of us ever went so far as to attend a seminary, obtain a divinity degree and enter the ministry. Sorry, grandpa.

Todd and Erin
The next generation, however, has done right by Grandpa Droogsma. My cousin's children - and I can't even generate an accurate guess as to how many people that encompasses - have found a remarkable number of ways to be involved in Christian ministry. My own daughter, Erin, graduated from North Park University in Chicago with degrees in both Youth Ministry and Bible and Theological Studies. But we've never had an actual seminary graduate - a Master of Divinity - until this past weekend.

Penny and I were able to go to Chicago this weekend and watch Erin's husband, Todd Spieker, graduate from North Park Seminary. A bright, personable kid from Colorado Springs, Todd graduated with honors, and he and Erin are currently in the process of interviewing with a couple of different churches that are considering calling Todd to be their pastor. I found the graduation ceremony to be a very moving experience, with about three dozen young men and women accepting their degrees and accepting a charge to go out into the world and preach the love of Christ. I admit to choking back a few tears, and having a lump in my throat, more than once.

 And while I realize that an "in-law" is not a direct descendant, I have to believe Grandpa Droogsma would have enjoyed the moment very much.

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