The Small Things

Martha Claire Henzler was looking for a church with a worship style rooted in tradition, but a congregation open to new things. As a mother, she was also interested in her children’s faith formation and knew that a good confirmation curriculum was important to her. Though she had been attending another church on a consistent basis, after visiting Augsburg the first time, she left feeling like “this was the first time I had been in church in a long time.” This was in the fall of 1979.

Through the years, Martha Claire has experienced incremental growth and changes along with the congregation. As one who enjoys singing in the choir, she was influenced by Augsburg organist and choir director Dr. Neubert, who had taught her that music was a part of worship. During the difficult time when Augsburg wrestled with the decision to recognize gay and lesbian marriage, Martha Claire recalls members who did not approach the change lovingly and laments their reticence. During the recent transition in senior pastor leadership, Interim Pastor Trexler helped Martha Claire to realize that having the participation of lay assistant ministers throughout the service was “a good idea.” Through these transitions, Martha Claire’s love for the church has been steadfast.

“The growth of activities at Augsburg has been amazing.” Martha Claire highlights music, youth involvement, and church volunteer expansion after the recent hiring of Pastor Katie Bryant. Martha Claire specifically likes Pastor Wollner’s people skills, and she admires the many members of the congregation who embrace everyone. She highlights our shelter ministry as an important reach into our community.

Through the church’s transitions and growth, Martha Claire emphasizes “it’s the small things that are important.”

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