Bishop Hee-Soo Jung delivered the opening prayer during the Retiree Recognition and Worship Service on Friday. Rev. Howard Hintzman, retiring elder, preached on the theme of “Showing Up” and read from the scripture 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 and Mark 4:30-32. He told a story about a visit he made to a boy in a hospital who had diabetes, and needed to learn how to give himself insulin shots. Rev. Hintzman said, “Believe it or not, I can’t keep my mouth shut.” He explained that he heard the Holy Spirit within him say, “Chad, would you like to use my arm?” The staff and parents all agreed it was a good idea. “So I got poked. I simply showed up,” he said. “Just like when Jesus told the mustard seed to just show up, Rev. Hintzman said, “Jesus didn’t tell the seeds that they must be a certain size or have certain characteristics. All they had to do was show up. It’s about being present. Showing up is simply about letting God work through us and with us. I have also learned how to show up better through the people who have showed up in my life.”

Rev. Hintzman told about another time that he visited a hospital and met parents who had decided to remove life support from their dying baby. The Holy Spirit prompted him to speak, “Would you like me to hold your baby boy as he dies?” The parents agreed. Rev. Hintzman continued, “So I cradled him into the arms of God’s mercy. And I cradled his parents into the arms of God’s mercy. All I did was show up. God shows up whether we show up or not. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all showed up?”

In a booklet created to honor the 15 retirees, Bishop Jung shared his congratulations. He said, “Words can hardly express the depth of appreciation that we have for your excellent leadership and ministry with and through the Wisconsin Annual Conference. We offer you our blessing as you enter a brand new phase of your life and ministry. Each of you has built faithfully upon the foundation and work of others; each of you has shared unique and God-given gifts to build God’s Church. Our Conference is what it is today because of your good work. Feel proud and blessed as you reflect on your lifetime of ministry, and know that your legacy will be appreciated for years to come.”

The 15 retirees who were honored include, George William Beaton, Ray Daiz, Don R. Francis, Howard Hintzman, Ellis L. Jr. “Hap” Itson, Patricia Knutson, Michael K. Morning, Andrew John Oren, Lynn Schreck, Richard B. Steele, Deborah Thompson, Barbara Wells, John Wesley Wells, Dee Ann Woods, and Doyle Blanton. The music was provided by Jorge Lockward.