Pastor Peggy Ogden-Howe baptizes a young man in the Jordan River. Photo by Monica Villarreal.
For the coming generations
The Jordan River was the LSTC group’s first stop one chilly January morning as they continued their tour of the Holy Lands.
“Are there any pastors here?” asked a group of students from an evangelical Christian high school in the U.S. Two of the young men in the group wanted to be baptized in the Jordan River.
“They were really hoping for a male pastor,” said Peggy Ogden-Howe, (1997, D.Min.) pastor of Christ the Servant Lutheran Church in Denton, Texas, who was with the LSTC travelers. “The male pastor in our group declined to do it, and I stepped forward to offer my help.” The high schoolers accepted. Ogden-Howe, who had not anticipated wading in the river, quickly changed into one of the white robes available at the shore for just such occasions.
“One of the chaperones from the other group helped me as I tried to recall as much as possible of the Order of Baptism from the ELW,” she recalled. “Then members of the LSTC group and the high school group decided to join in with an affirmation of their baptisms. It was a good thing I was so caught up in the spirit of the moment. I barely noticed how cold the water was! It was the experience of a lifetime!”
On that journey to the Holy Lands, Pastor Ogden-Howe got to know LSTC students and faculty members Esther Menn and Barbara Rossing, who led the tour. “I could see the quality and commitment of the people who are dedicated to preparing leaders for the church,” she said. She was impressed by the “amazing gifts of the people at LSTC who are making sure that the gospel of Jesus Christ is passed on from generation to generation.”
Her experiences at LSTC, as a student, as a member of the board of directors, and as a participant in the study tour have inspired her and her husband to increase their annual gifts to LSTC and to include the seminary in their estate. Ogden-Howe says, “I have seen how important the people and the place, together in partnership, are for how LSTC prepares leaders.”