Pastor Ron Moe-Lobeda came to ULC in the summer of 1996, from Washington, D.C., where he served in ministry at Luther Place Memorial Church. After 20 years as ULC pastor, Ron Moe-Lobeda is moving to California to join his wife Cindy in Berkeley where she is a full-time professor at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS), affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and part of California Lutheran University whose main campus is in Thousand Oaks, CA. Cindy followed Ron to Seattle in 1996 (while living in Washington, DC, she was a doctoral student at Union Theological Seminary in NY and for 5 more years and much air travel after moving to Seattle); now Ron follows Cindy to Berkeley, evidence of a continually negotiated life together.
On Sunday, June 26, 2016, ULC celebrated Pastor Ron’s 20 years at ULC. First, by a worship service at 9:30A, which concluded with a blessing of Ron and Cindy by Rev. Kirby Unti, Bishop of the Northwest Lutheran Synod. Second, by a pot-luck dinner, followed by a John Denver sing-along (Ron’s favorite song writer and singer), and ending with a Celebration Program (available for download when you click HERE).
Photographs below (with short descriptions) highlight different parts of the celebrating day.
First a gallery of photos of Ron over the last 20 years, proving that ULC has had an aging and greying effect on him.
1996: the picture Ron sent when he applied for the ULC called pastor opening.
2001: 5 years later, showing a touch of grey, with hair still parted in the middle.
2005: after 9 years, still keeping on with keeping on.
2016: after 20 years, deeper laugh- and worry-lines, much more grey, and hair parted on the left side (consistent for a progressive Lutheran church pastor).
Ron preaching at the 20th celebration. Here’s what Ron says on his Facebook page about that worship celebration:
“Yesterday the wonderful people at University Lutheran Church celebrated my 20-year ministry at ULC and bid Cindy and me farewell as we prepare to move to PLTS in Berkeley. Here is my final sermon to a people with whom I have had the honor and privilege of being partners in ministry for the past 20 years.
JESUS’ VISION AND MISSION
June 26, 2016
Luke 4:14-21; Isaiah 65:17-25; Galatians 5:1, 13-25”
To read Ron’s final sermon, CLICK HERE for the text of Ron’s sermon for June 26, 2016.
Bishop Kirby Unti, at the end of the June 26 worship service, called Ron and Cindy to come forward for a blessing (and a few words of reflection prior to the blessing).
The blessing, read by Bishop Unti, but joined by the congregation who laid their hands on Cindy and Ron in an emotional, farewell blessing. The picture is rather dark and a little out of focus. Cindy and Ron are in the middle of the group looking at one another, the Bishop in white robe and dark stole, is just to the right and behind them, and the whole congregation is not just gathered around them, but laying hands on them (or on the shoulder of the person in front of them).
After the morning worship service and blessing, in the early evening there was a Pastor Ron 20 Year Celebration with a sing-along (of John Denver songs), shared reflections/memories/goodbyes, and ending with a few presentations. Below are pictures of both the sing-along and one of the presentations.
The sing-along held in the ULC Sanctuary was led by Brian Maschhoff (right) and Al Roehl (left). The John Denver songs (lots of them!)were printed on a multiple-page handout given to everyone who joined in.
This picture was taken at the end of the sing-along when everyone joined in thanking Brian and Al for leading with their guitar playing and spirited singing.
After the sing-along and toward the end of the shared reflections and presentations, John Wott, long time ULC member and acknowledge master gardener retired from the UW School of Horticulture, gives gifts to Ron and Cindy. Gifts presented by John include a gardener’s hat and garden tools for Ron and a pair of pink flamingos (held by Cindy) to reign over Ron and Cindy’s future garden in Berkeley. The group to the right of Cindy and Ron in the upper picture are the members of the ULC choir who sang a special song to celebrate Ron’s 20 years as ULC pastor. After their song, they stayed in the Sanctuary, so they could be close to where all the action was, and they thoroughly enjoyed the view and John’s humorous presentations!
For a copy of the program for the early evening’s program of celebration, click on the following: Ron’s Celebration Program3 June 2016.