Principally Speaking

You have learned over these nearly five years that I am a passionate Norwegian (with Swedish and Danish mixed in). Celebrating the Norwegian Constitution Day, Syttende Mai (The 17th of May), has been a valued tradition in our family for nearly 45 years. When our son, Andrew, was a little boy, I woke him up for school on the 17th of May. He moaned and turned over. I said, “Hurra, hurra for Syttende Mai,” the thing everyone shouts all around Norway on that day. He rolled over and said, “I’m a German boy.” Well, he was half right!

We’ve laughed about that over the years, but it is such a good reminder that we all come from somewhere… may that somewhere hold similar stories, backgrounds, traditions, or ways of valuing life. My values were embedded in the Scandinavian culture. My husband’s were embedded in the German tradition. It matters not where those values are from, it matters that we value things that are meaningful.

On Saturday, Sept. 28, the school will sponsor something meaningful, traditional, and fun! We are hosting an authentic German Dinner during Waverly’s Oktoberfest. The cuisine will be created by Martin Vollmer, the well known German chef of Waverly. Martin and his wife Beverly sent their children to St. Paul’s Lutheran School. He loves to cook, he loves this school, he loves his heritage. In fact, for years, he ran a restaurant in Waverly called, “Martin’s Brandenburg Restaurant.” I am telling you this, not only because I would love you to join us by purchasing a ticket online at or by coming to the school or church office to purchase one, but because celebrating meaning and heritage is something that is almost innate.

We seek to belong to something. When we gather in community – laughing, eating, participating in story, song, or whatever feels good, it brings us close. It creates a belonging, no matter what our heritage. Jesus said, “I have called you, you are mine.” That is the ultimate belonging. But while earthbound, we find it in the fellowship of one another. Come, join us on Sept. 28 and celebrate belonging together while eating Martin’s famous sauerbraten, hot German potato salad, red cabbage, and German tortes. You do belong!