Every other month we get an update on what’s been happening recently at our Immanuel Lutheran High School, College and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
On August 1, James (Jim) Sandeen retired from his position as CLC Treasurer and ILC Business Manager—a position in which he has served since 2016. If, however, you happened to visit the ILC business office late this summer, you may have seen Jim still around. You might therefore assume that Jim is not all that good at retiring. And you might be right. After all, Jim, a graduate of all three departments of ILC, took this position only after he had retired from the pastoral ministry. In that ministry, Jim served five congregations from 1966 to 2014, as well as serving as CLC Statistician (1980-1992) and Secretary of the Board of Trustees (1982-2014)—positions which surely prepared him well for his second career.
Jim’s apparent inability to retire actually stems from his giving heart. He stayed around this summer and early fall to help Stephen (Steve) Lentz transition into the position he retired from (a position he originally took to help out our synod). That willingness to give of his time and talents characterized not only Jim’s ministry, but also his time as treasurer and business manager. He was always available to answer any question or provide information, and he was continuously cheerful, friendly, and helpful in his responses. Not even his loquacity could surpass his sagacity.
Jim notes that among the things he enjoyed most in this position were the routine of getting to work early; the diversity of tasks; the camaraderie of like-minded Christians of the general business office, faculty, and staff; and the edification of the daily chapel devotions and fellowship with the student body. He was also impressed with the generosity and diversity of Christian stewards’ time, treasure, and talents that he observed in his capacity as treasurer and business manager. While he says that he and his wife, Carol, have already been blessed to the fullest in their travels, and may continue those, he will definitely enjoy more leisure time at home with his spouse and family.
Steve Lentz first moved to Eau Claire when his father, Roger, took the maintenance job at ILC and his mother, Mary Lou, became assistant cook there. Steve graduated from ILHS, earned an AA degree at ILC, and then graduated from UWEC with a degree in comprehensive public accounting. Steve is married to Susan (Nolting) and has two adult children. He is a longtime member of Messiah in Eau Claire and served as its treasurer for twenty-six years. Before Steve became the new treasurer and business manager at Immanuel, he was peacefully enjoying his retirement from his forty-three years as a Certified Public Accountant.
Steve’s background certainly prepared him well for this new position, but it is truly his servant’s heart, willing to dedicate his time and talents to this task, that led him, like Jim, to give up his retirement and return to work. Steve, however, doesn’t think of this position as a job, but rather as an opportunity to do something for the Lord. So far, the part he enjoys the most about his new position is the people he works with—fellow Christians whose goal is to work together to bring the Gospel to our young people at ILC and to the church body at large.
In his free time Steve loves being outside, especially sitting on a quiet lake fishing, or hiking with his wife. He also enjoys working in the garden, mowing the lawn, splitting wood for the fireplace—really, doing anything outside that allows him to be surrounded by God’s beautiful creation.
We, as a synod, are thankful for Jim’s faithful and dedicated service to the Lord, and for Steve’s devoting his time and talents to this work. We pray that the Lord continues to bless them both in their new vocations.