Pastor Margaret Aiseayew retired at the end of June, 2018.
Following both worship services on June 24, St. Johns United Methodist Church hosted a get-together party to celebrate the years of service and the retirement of Pastor Margaret Aiseayew.
As I was growing up, we lived on a farm north of Ellsworth. We moved to Phoenix, Arizona for my motherís health. She was allergic to everything that grew there. We moved back to Iowa and lived in the town of Ellsworth for nearly a year before Dad got the farm at Clarion. I lived there until I left to attend Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.
My first grand personal adventure was being appointed by our Bishop Thomas as the Youth delegate from the North Iowa Conference to the World Methodist Conference in London. Vanderbilt University had created a program to precede the World Methodist Conference for those considering the ministry. It would consume the summer and take us with advisors from Vanderbilt and a theology professor from Claremont School of Theology in California to visit various seminaries and theologians across Europe. We were also well indoctrinated with the history of Protestantism on the journey. We left the United States for Switzerland, France, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, West Berlin, West Germany and then to the World Youth Conference in Bath, England.
After I completed my degree in theology and theatre from Morningside, I went to work for the Ecumenical Institute which headquartered out of Chicago. I made this decision while spending my first summer in an intensive program at Iliff Theological Seminary in Denver. Within a couple of years, I was married and my husband and I were asked to lead a research and training program for the Institute around the world. We travelled to Mexico; Japan; Hong Kong; Bangkok, Thailand; Calcutta, Delhi and Bombay (now Mumbai), India; Kenya; Ethiopia; Egypt; Greece; Yugoslavia (we were in what is now Serbia and Croatia); Romania; Hungary; Iceland and home to Chicago. In the next few years we lived in Chicago, Tulsa and Pittsburgh here in the U.S.
Our next assignment involved moving to Rome, Italy, and opening a center there. As we were working with the entire continent, time was spent in England, Belgium, and Germany. We were also on call for programs in Nigeria and Zambia during that time. Back in the United States we were in Chicago while my husband battled Hodgkinís disease. As soon as we were cleared to travel, we were assigned to Seoul, Korea. The center of our operations in Asia was in Hong Kong. We had cause to spend time on Wake, in Hawaii and Western Samoa as well. From Seoul, we were sent to Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia) in south central Africa. This connected us to Sierra Leone; Liberia; Ivory Coast; Ghana; Cameroon and the Congo and on call for programs in Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Back in the United States, I was asked to spend time in Brazil and Peru. Since we were always going out teaching courses, I spent time in Canada and in probably forty of the United States. Somewhere along the line we were sent to teach a course in the Bahamas.
There are many stories from each of these locations and many lessons learned. Be prepared for any eventuality (donít over pack!). I have been blessed, saved, redeemed and loved by our Creator beyond all reason.
Time to say Farewell.