Saying goodbye

For the last 17 years, Reverend Chuck Sheffler, 69, has been preaching The Word to the congregations of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Langdon and the Zion Lutheran Church in Munich.

Reverend Chuck Sheffler

Posted on 8/31/13

By Lee Coleman

Now, after 22 years in the pulpit, ‘The Rev’, as he is known to most people, has announced his intentions to retire on September 20.

“It just seemed like it was time,” Sheffler explained on Tuesday. “We wanted to be closer to our kids and grandkids.

“We’ve missed them. One thing a pastor doesn’t always have is close family ties in a community unless they are a young pastor. When you get to be my age, the family moves away and you kind of miss them.”

Sheffler and his wife of 43 years, Betty, will retire to St. Germain, Wisc. to be near their three kids Jennifer, Adam and Matthew and their eight grandchildren.

Sheffler said he would continue to work in the church when an opportunity presents itself but adamantly admitted there will be no looking back on his decision.

“I think any pastor will have some reservations,” he said. “The old story is a pastor might retire but he’s never really done. I’ll be doing something in the ministry from time to time.

“You just enjoy it so much. I enjoy my time, I enjoy my services and I enjoy my people. A congregation becomes the pastor’s family. We’re up in age and it is time to slow down a little bit and enjoy life at an easier pace.”

While discussing the lives he touched during his service to the church, Sheffler, an avid deer hunter and snowmobiler, was asked if he had accomplished all he wanted to during his career.

“No and I’ll qualify that,” he answered. “I think any pastor would answer ‘no’. There are always more people to bring into the church and there are always other things to do in your congregation.

“There are always new visions to look forward to and accomplish those things. It is an on-going process and to think it isn’t, that would just not be right.”

There will be a Farewell Open House on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the American Legion Hall to honor Sheffler and his wife.

Born in Moline, Ill., ‘The Rev’ has spent a lot of time in the theatre, performing in his favorite musical ‘Smoke on the Mountain’ and portraying Tevyen in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.

A graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. on May 24, 1991. the affable Sheffler was ordained in his home church of Holy Cross Lutheran in Moline on June 2, 1991.

Sheffler returned to his early roots when asked about his proudest moment as a reverend.

“I’m proudest of my worship service and preaching about Christ being crucified for us,” he said. “He died for our sins and to get away from that is to get away from the church.

“That has always been my focus. Do we all make mistakes? You bet. Are we sorry for our mistakes? You bet. You live and you learn but you have to keep the focus on Jesus Christ and him being crucified.”

In his message to his congregations and the collective community, Sheffler had this to say.

“Keep a strong faith and keep focused on Christ and his sacrifice. Give service to others and witness your faith to others,” Sheffler said. “The world today is centered on self and political correctness. It is time we looked to Christ and it is time we looked to helping and serving others.

“When the world can do that, we won’t have any problems. But until that time comes, the problems will continue until He comes again.”

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