The key word was “transitions”; the Scriptural guidance was couched in Revelation 1:8. From the back row it seemed to me that the closing concert and the commencement exercises were right on track. The ILC Fieldhouse was jam-packed, as usual; the closing concert was uplifting, as customary; even the ambient heat and humidity escalated normally. Flutters of fanning programs kept time with the cadence of drum roll and soaring praises. Normal. Customary. Good. We are becoming acclimated to such blessings.
Now we ask the question posed to us in the Commencement Service by President John Pfeiffer: “Which way will we be going tomorrow?” The Lord’s Word responded: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” As our life bounces forward minute by hour by day–always in transition from what was to what is and then onward to what shall be–our Alpha/Omega God manages. The only reason we are here today and are moving on–is Jesus. We step from past to present into future securely because Alpha/Omega is always one step ahead of us.
That’s how this spring’s ILC graduates (one seminary, fourteen college, thirty-two high school) are facing their transition from ILC — to their next stage of life. That’s how Mrs. Adelgunde Schaller enters full-time retirement (see accompanying article) after her long career at ILC. We expect our Alpha/Omega God to manage for us, as He always does.
Yet we will also face the unexpected, just as surely as Easter burst all unexpectedly upon the burial brigade, the posted military, and those in hell to whom Jesus proved to be the one great Surprise. We were particularly struck–in Friday’s closing choir concert–by the abrupt transition from the Good Friday chorale (lento and moderato) to the explosive “Alleluia! Christ has destroyed death!” as the Easter surprise burst upon us in the Fieldhouse “all unexpected,” so to speak. Wonderful!
Let us expect the unexpected from Alpha/Omega; He has already blue-printed the transitions of our life for us, for “God’s right hand and holy arm have won the victory.”
Retirement of Mrs. Adelgunde Schaller
This year’s commencement also marked the close of Mrs. Schaller’s forty-two years of service to our Lord at Immanuel Lutheran College. As Regents’ member Tom Beekman pointed out at the close of the spring concert, Mrs. Schaller was one of the first teachers when ILC began under the auspices of Immanuel congregation of Mankato. During her service career she taught virtually every student who ever attended the high school department, beginning in 1959 at Mankato and continuing at the Eau Claire campus from 1963 through the closing decades of the twentieth century, culminating this spring in her retirement. She enjoys the love of her associates and former students, as she is beloved of the Lord Himself.
Let it be said that we praise Alpha/Omega for allowing Mrs. Schaller to use her gifts in His service and for His people over such a lengthy career.
Our tributes to Mrs. Schaller were rounded out with a memento plaque, a money gift, and a reception in the dining hall, which many used as a photo-op to record the occasion for posterity.
Another transition has come and gone–for Mrs. Schaller as well as for her colleagues and the student body of ILC. We are getting used to such transitions; we live successfully through them all as we commit our bodies and souls and all things into the care of our capable Alpha/Omega God.
May He continue to bless our times of transition until all has transpired here below, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
–Paul R. Koch, Reporter