Period of New Horizons 1938-1946
In the period of new horizons various changes were made. There were changes in all phases of the elementary educational program of Immanuel congregation. These changes will be considered in the following sections.
Present Day School Teachers
At the beginning of this period, the school staff included the following persons: Mr. Otto Hellermann, principal and teacher of grades six, seven and eight; Miss Alma Darge, teacher of grades three, four and five; and Miss Schemmelpfennig, teacher of the kindergarten, first and second grades.
Having received a call from a sister congregation in Jefferson, Wisconsin, Miss Schimmelpfennig asked for her release, and it was granted to her by the Church Council in their meeting on August 9, 1940. In the School Board meeting on August 12, 1940, Miss Helen Mueller was asked to fill the vacancy, but she declined the offer. Miss Viola Oetjen also declined the offer, and in the School Board meeting on August 31, 1940, Mr. Hellermann was authorized to fill the vacancy as best he could at this late date. Mr. Edmund Hellmann, a graduate of Dr. Martin Luther College at New Ulm, was engaged to teach the primary grades for one year. It was necessary, therefore, to secure a teacher for the primary grades. In the Board of Education* meeting on July 2, 1941, it was resolved to engage Miss Marie Bode to teach the primary grades. She did not accept the appointment, and this information was presented to the Board of Education in a meeting assembled on July 25, 1941. In this meeting it was resolved to call Miss Bertha Wilbrecht as teacher for the primary grades. She also declined the appointment, and in the Board of Education meeting on August 11, 1941, it was resolved to engage Mrs. Magde Johnson. Miss Ruth Kroeger was also considered as a candidate. On August 15, 1941, the Board of Education was informed that Mrs. Johnson had declined the appointment.
In this meeting the Board of Education authorized Pastor Peterson, and a few board members to attempt to secure a teacher from Dr. Martin Luther College at New Ulm. The teacher secured was Miss Myrtle Pagenkopf. She served as teacher of the primary grades until the spring of 1944.
In the Church Council meeting on March 10, 1944, it was resolved to recommend to the congregation that we open the fourth room of our school, and that two new teachers be engaged, one to replace Miss Pagenkopf who no longer desired to teach, and one to take over the fourth room. In the April 16, 1944 meeting of the congregation this action was approved, and the Board of Education was empowered to engage two new teachers. In accordance with this action two assignments were sent to the Assignment Committee of the Joint Synod of Wisconsin. In the Church Council meeting on July 7, 1944, it was reported that Miss Carol Gieseke had consented to teach the primary grades of the school. However, this left one vacancy to be filled; therefore, the Board of Education in its meeting on June 30, 1944, having been informed that one teacher, Miss Carol Gieseke had been assigned by assignment committee, considered the calling of a fourth teacher. Two persons were considered, namely, Miss Olive Olson and Miss Cleo Jenske. The pastor was asked to gather more information on these candidates. On July 14, 1944, the Board
of Education was informed of another candidate, namely, Miss Minirva Mass of Brooklyn, N.Y.. The pastor was authorized to take necessary steps to secure Miss Mass. She, however, declined to accept the offer, and a student of Bethany College in Mankato, Miss Helen Kohlmeyer, was engaged to teach grades three and four for the school year 1944-1945. Miss Kohlmeyer accepted the offer, and the Board of Education was informed of this on August 30, 1944. In the April 6, 1945, meeting of the Church Council, it was recommended to the congregation to engage a male teacher in place of Miss Kohlmeyer so that the staff would include at least two male teachers. The congregation approved this action in the meeting on April 8, 1945. In the April 27, 1945 meeting of the Board of Education, it was resolved that because of a shortage of male teachers, the board should present another assignment to the Assignment Committee of the Synod. This action was reported to the Church Council in its meeting on May 11, 1945. The action was approved. As a result of this action Miss Eunice Bode was engaged to teach grades three and four in the Day School. At the end of this period, May 1946, the school staff included the following persons: Mr. Otto Hellermann, principal and teacher of grades seven and eight; Miss Alma Darge, teacher of grades five and six; Miss Eunice Bode, teacher of grades three and four; and Miss Carol Gieseke, teacher of grades one and two and kindergarten.
In the near future several other changes in the staff seem eminent. Miss Alma Darge presented her resignation to the Board of Education on February 22, 1946 to be effective at the end of the present school year, giving as a reason her failing health, and there is much doubt as to whether Miss Gieseke will accept her reappointment. Thus, we face a new school term with two vacancies on the staff. The Board of Education desires to call the second male teacher, but the shortage of male teachers makes this seem impossible.
The enrollment of the Day School during this period shows a definite upward trend. In 1939, the enrollment of the school was reported to be 116 pupils. In the September 12, 1941 meeting of the Church Council, it was reported that the enrollment was 105 pupils. In the meeting of the Board of Education on September 9, 1942, the enrollment of the school was reported to be 103 pupils. In the meeting of the Church Council on September 10, 1943 the enrollment of the school was reported to be 116 pupils. In the October 8, 1944 meeting of the congregation the enrollment of the school was reported to be 143 pupils. This includes 20 children of the Bethany Congregation. In the October 14, 1945 meeting of the congregation the school enrollment was reported to be 119 pupils. The decrease was due to the fact that Bethany Congregation opened its own school. This matter will be discussed later.
During the early part of this period, it had been customary to transport children from West Mankato to the School by bus. The parents assumed the expense involved. For a time it was successful, but in the Church Council meeting on December 8, 1939, Mr. Hellermann reported that he had spent some $11 for this purpose. The Church Council members reimbursed Mr. Hellermann, and from that time on there is no mention of bus transportation. It may be that here is a reason for the decreased school enrollment in the fall of 1940.
One of the financial problems which came to a head during this period with respect to the school was the matter of tuition for students. For many years Bethany Congregation had been sending children of their congregation to our school, and other Synodical Conference churches
were doing likewise. Therefore, in the meeting of the Board of Education of July 2, 1941, the tuition of outside students was discussed. In another meeting in July this matter was again discussed. A committee was appointed to discuss the matter with representatives of Bethany Congregation. On May 28, 1942, it was reported to the Board of Education that a temporary working agreement had been reached with Bethany Congregation. The matter was discussed by the Board of Education again in its meeting on December 1, 1944, on the basis of a committee report. A committee had been appointed consisting of Pastor Peterson and Mr. Herbert Arnold and they submitted a proposed tuition scale. The plan was recommended to the Church Council. They discussed it in their meeting of December 8, 1944, and adopted the following committee report on tuition for the Day School:
"In presenting this special committee report, the committee would like to have it known that its recommendations are made on the basis of a careful study, and a consideration of correspondence with Mr. F.W. Meyer, Executive Secretary of the School Board of the Wisconsin Synod; Mr. A.C. Stellhorn, Secretary of Schools for the Missouri Synod; Pastor O. Volz of Faribault and the school bulletin of the First Lutheran School of Long Beach, California.
- Concerning children whose parents or legal guardian are affiliated with our congregation, we recommend:
- That such children be charged no tuition fee.
- That all our members and especially those who have children in the school be urged by the officials of the congregation, the faculty of the school, and the pastors to contribute for this cause by meeting their Christian obligation to our congregation.
- That the Board of Christian Education make it their business to investigate the contributions especially of those who have children in the school to determine whether they are meeting their obligation to our congregation to the best of their ability.v
- Concerning children of other Synodical Conference Churches, we recommend:
- That our congregation accept the offer of $250.00 from Bethany Lutheran Congregation for their children enrolled in our school for this school year.
- That the Board of Christian Education address a letter to St. Mark's congregation asking them to contribute $75.00 as the tuition fee for their children with mention to the fact that should they be unable to pay this fee that they appeal to the District Mission Board for help in meeting this obligation.
- That the Board of Christian Education set a tuition fee of $20.00 a school year, payable, if desired, in ten installments for children of St. Paul's congregation.
- That this fee to be collected from the families concerned.
- That this fee be reduced to $10.00 a school year, payable, if desired, in ten installments, for additional children from the same family.
- That the Board of Christian Education address an appeal to St. Paul's Congregation through Pastor R.A. Haase asking them to make some proposition to us concerning children from their congregation attending our school.
- Concerning children whose parents have no affiliation with a Synodical Conference Lutheran Church, we recommend:
- That children whose parents are affiliated with some other church body be charged a tuition of $35.00 for the school year, payable, if desired, in ten installments, for the first child and $20.00 a school year, payable, if desired, in ten installments, for each additional child.
- That children whose parents have no church affiliation be admitted without a definite tuition charge providing that their attendance does not cause undesirable conditions to exist in our school.
- That the principal of the school devise a monthly envelope system and make it his business to see that such children receive an envelope every month, and in some way encourage the parents to use these envelopes to make a voluntary contribution toward the work of the school. Such funds gathered to be presented to the treasurer of the congregation as tuition for such children."
School Room Classes
Letters were authorized to be mailed to the congregations informing them of this scale and asking them to put forth their best efforts to increase their financial contribution to the school so that eventually they would carry their full share of the expense involved in giving their children this type of education. Favorable letters were received from St. Paul's and St. Mark's congregations; however, Bethany Congregation never responded. On February 24, 1945, the Board of Education was notified that Bethany Congregation would open its own school in the fall and would withdraw some twenty pupils from Immanuel School. No further action was taken on this matter.
Various sundry items are mentioned in this period with reference to the Day School. Schedules of book rent for the students were reported from time to time; several Day School reports, were presented to the Board of Education, Church Council, and congregation. Bethany students were thanked for cooperation in helping with the teaching work in the kindergarten, and this is the last reference made in the records to this matter.
On April 8, 1942, it was reported to the Board of Christian Education that the primary grades of the school had been dismissed from February 24 to the 27 because of a measle epidemic. On May 28, 1942, the Board of Education was notified that the children of the school had purchased Defense Stamps and War Bonds amounting to $378.30, and in the Board of Education meeting on January 15, 1943, it was announced that children had contributed $7.20 to the Red Cross. It was announced that 80 children were taking part in a Penny Milk Program, and it was reported that the Synod School Visitors visited the school, and in the Board of Education meeting on February 22, 1946 it was announced that Miss Clara Paschke, county nurse, had conducted a clinic for smallpox, diptheria and eyes in the school on February 13, 1946. In this meeting, it was also reported that the children of the school had sold county Christmas seals amounting to $29.00. This is interesting, because of several resolutions in years past to return
such seals and not permit the children to sell them. It was reported, also, that the Church Council had approved a recommendation of the Board of Education to convert the room, which was formerly used as a kitchen, into a library for the school. To date this resolution has not been carried out.
One other fact of importance with reference to the Day School in this period should be noted. In the January 10, 1943 meeting of the congregation, it was resolved to set up a five year Expansion Program for the congregation. In this program was included a "New School Building Fund". The financial report for 1945, which shows the money deposited in this fund up to December 31, 1945, designates $2,060.52 toward this goal.
In this period of new horizons is an all-inclusive program of elementary Christian education for the children of the congregation, other agencies received more consideration than in any other period in the history of the congregation.
On November 11, 1938, the solicitors for funds for the congregation were asked in the Church Council meeting to make a special list of the children up to confirmation age in the families which they visited. Whether this was done or not cannot be proven from the record; however, it is important to note that this step was taken.
Another proof of a broadened horizon may be seen from the fact that the Church Council on May 12, 1939 appointed a Sunday School Board of three members. There is no evidence that this board ever functioned, but that is not important. The important thing is that such a board was appointed. Several reports of the Sunday School are reported given by Candidate Lenz in the Church Council meeting of 1939. In the fall of that year, Candidate Lenz accepted a call to Monticello, Minnesota, after having been granted a release by Immanuel congregation.
Candidate Elmer Mehlberg was engaged to replace Candidate Lenz, but his stay in Mankato was short. In January of 1940, he accepted a call to Faith, South Dakota after having received a release from Immmanuel congregation. The Rev. Adolph Koehler was engaged to assist the pastor until another assistant could be called. In the Church Council meeting on the 9th of February, Candidate Emil F. Peterson was engaged. At the end of January 1940, he had completed his work in a mission congregation in Waverly, Illinois, where he had been serving since his graduation in June 1939. Candidate Peterson arrived in Mankato on February 14, 1940. In July 1940, the congregation extended a permanent call to Candidate Peterson, and it was accepted by him.
From here on the horizon of an all-inclusive educational program on the elementary level is definitely broadened. In the April 12, 1940 meeting of the Church Council, 15 minutes were added to the Sunday School sessions. On May 10, 1940, Miss Vivian Schulz* was appointed registrar for the Sunday School, and she began the system of records which are still in use today. On Sunday, December 1, 1940, Miss Schulz served her last day as registrar. The new registrar, Miss Eleanor Gosewisch, was present on that Sunday, and she began her work as registrar on the following Sunday, December 8, 1940. In this same meeting on May 10, 1940, a summer session for the Junior confirmation class
was authorized by the Church Council, and it was decided to continue Sunday School during the summer months, abolishing a custom of long standing. From this point on regular Sunday School reports were presented to the Church Council.
In a meeting on March 19, 1941, the Board of Education resolved to appoint a definite Sunday School staff. The matter of who should head the staff caused some discussion. In their meeting on June 5, 1941, the board resolved to nominate candidates for director of the Sunday School. Final action was taken on September 11, 1941 when the board appointed Pastor Peterson as director of the Sunday School. He presented a staff for the Sunday School to the board on October 31, 1941, and the following staff was approved. Registrar: Miss Eleanor Gosewisch; Treasurer: Miss Mildred Schwieger; Teachers: Mrs. John Storm, Cradle Roll and Kindergarten; Miss Ellen Mueller, Grade IA; Miss Lillian Schueler, Grade IB; Miss Mildred Meyer, Grade II; Miss Noami Bergemann, Grade IIIA; Miss Martha Backhaus, Grade IIIB; Miss Verola Herzberg, Grade IV; Miss Alma Darge, Grade VA; Miss Bernadine Meyers, Grade VB; Miss Myrtle Pagenkopf, Grade VI; Mrs. William Renneke, Grade VII; Miss Carmelia Klammer, Grade VIII; Mr. Karl Malwitz, Junior Bible Class. Substitute teachers were Miss Margaret Ann Deike, Miss Myrna Klaff, Miss Marjorie Wrucke, Miss Delores Schulz, Miss Alma Prey and Mr. Otto Hellermann.
In the repor to the congregation in an annual meeting in January 1942, the Sunday School staff was reported as including the following teachers and officers: Mrs. John Storm, Kindergarten and Cradle Roll; Miss Ellen Mueller, Grade IA; Miss Lillian Schueller, Grade IB; Miss Mildred Meyer, Grade IIA; Miss Marcella Zastrow, Grade IIB; Miss Florence Ruge, Grade IIIA; Miss Martha Backhaus, Grade IIIB; Miss Verola Herzberg, Grade IV; Miss Alma Darge, Grade VA; Miss Bernadine Mayers, Grade VB; Miss Myrtle Pagenkopf, Grade VIII; and Karl Malwitz, Junior Bible Class. Four substitute teachers including, Miss Myrna Klaff, Miss Marjorie Wrucke, Miss Alma Prey, and Mr. Otto Hellermann. The officers were: Miss Eleanor Gosewisch, Registrar; Miss Mildred Schwieger, Treasurer; and the Rev. Emil F. Peterson, Director.
In the annual report of the Sunday School to the congregation in its meeting on January 11, 1943 the following changes were noted. New teachers: Miss Wilma Janzen, Miss Lois Boettcher, Miss Doris Luehmann, Mrs. George Kunst, Miss Ruth Hartig, Miss Doris Borchard, Mrs. Leroy Harmon, Miss Augusta Wolters, and Mr. Clarence Mees. Those no longer teaching include, Miss Lillian Schueler, Miss Mildred Meyer, Miss Marcella Zastrow, Miss Verola Herzberg, Miss Bernadine Meyers, Mrs. William Renneke, Miss Myrtle Pagenkopf, Karl Malwitz, Miss Marjorie Wrucke, and Mr. Otto Hellermann.
In the report to the congregation in its January meeting, 1944, the following changes in the Sunday School staff are noted. New teachers: Mrs. Lorraine Bergeron, Miss Florence Klammer, Miss Helen Kohlmeyer, Miss Ruth Mueller, Mrs. Frank Barth, and Miss Sylvia Wels. Those no longer teaching include, Miss Margaret Ann Deike, Miss Myrna Klaff, Miss Alma Prey, Miss Wilma Janzen, Miss Doris Luehmann, Mrs. George Kunst, and Mrs. Leroy Harmon.
In the report to the congregation in a meeting assembled on January 15, 1945 the following changes had occurred on the Sunday School staff. New teachers include, Miss Evelyn Seppmann, Miss Margaret Ann Deike, Miss Edna Haarstick, Miss Linda Meinhold, Miss Carol Gieseke, and
Miss Jeanne Ness. Those no longer teaching include, Miss Ellen Mueller, Miss Ruth Mueller, and Miss Ruth Hartig.
In the report to the congregation on January 14, 1946 the following changes were noted. New teachers include, Miss Ruth Imm, Mrs. Leroy Harmon, Miss Shirley Olson, and Miss Rosella Heinitz. Those no longer teaching include Mr. Clarence Mees, Miss Helen Kohlmeyer, Miss Sylvia Wels, Miss Margaret Ann Deike, Miss Linda Meinhold, Miss Carol Gieseke.
Special mention shouldd be made of four teachers who have rendered faithful service during the whole period under the present director. They are: Mrs. John Storm, Miss Florence Ruge, Miss Martha Backhaus, and Miss Alma Darge. Mention ought also to be made of the faithful service of Miss Eleanor Gosewisch, registrar. She served almost the whole of the period. On February 11, 1945, she resigned her position to enter the Kahler School of Nursing, and Miss Jeanne Ness stepped in as registrar.
In the January, 1941 meeting of the congregation the director of the Sunday School reported that 204 pupils were registered in the Sunday School. It was also stated that the active enrollment was about 150. In January, 1942, it was reported to the congregation in its meeting that 194 pupils were registered in the Sunday School. Of this group 155 were active. In this meeting, it was also stated that out of this enrollment 23 were attending also the Day School, and 60 of them came from families whose parents were not affiliated with Immanuel congregation. In a meeting in January, 1943, the congregation received the report that there were 185 pupils enrolled in the Sunday School, and of this group about 140 were active. The report of the director to the congregation in January, 1944, showed that 170 children were registered in the Sunday School. Of these 150 were active. The report of the Sunday School presented in the congregational meeting on January, 1945 showed 180 pupils registered with 160 of this group active. In January, 1946, the active enrollment of the Sunday School was given as 167 pupils in the report to the congregation. While these enrollment figures do not show any phenomenal increases, the fact that the enrollment did not decrease more is significant, if the historical background is known. During the last few years of this period a mission congregation was established in West Mankato. Many of the families of Immanuel congregation lived in that section. Some of them transferred their children to that Sunday School. It is not an exaggeration to state that some 40 to 50 children were transferred to that Sunday School. It is not the case that this caused a definite decrease in the enrollment of Immanuel Sunday School, for the figures show that it did not.
Various other references to the work of the Sunday School are made in this period in the official records. On November 7, 1941, the Board of Christian Education recommended to the Church Council that henceforth Sunday School should begin at 10:15 a.m. and at 11 a.m. all the children of the Sunday School should attend the English service in a body, and not be dismissed until after the service. This recommendation was approved by the Church Council in the November meeting, and that custom prevails to date.
On March 6, 1942, it was reported to the Board of Education that the members of the staff had completed their first course in special Teacher Training Course. This is the first reference to this type of work by the Sunday School staff. On February 9, 1945, it was reported to the Baord of Christian Education that three members of the
staff had received their "Teacher Training Certificate". Those members included, Miss Alma Darge, Miss Martha Backhaus, and Miss Eleanor Gosewisch. This special preparation was given in connection with the meetings of the Sunday School staff in which they prepared also the lesson for the following Sunday. During the last few years, the Sunday School staff has met on every Monday evening in order to prepare lessons and take special training courses.
Another feature of the Sunday School work which was considered in this period was the subject of Sunday School teacher's institutes. Since no Sunday School teacher's institutes were conducted by the Minnesota District of the Wisconsion Synod, Immanuel Sunday School staff invited the South Central Sunday School Teacher's Institute of Missouri Synod to meet in Immanuel Church on October 17, 1943. This was approved by the Board of Education on June 11,
1943. The group met in Immanuel Church on the specified date, and this marks, so far as is known, the first Sunday School teacher's institute to be held in a Wisconsin Synod Church in the State of Minnesota. At this meeting, the Wisconsin Synod Sunday School teachers and officers of Mankato and vicinity were organized. They elected a committee, headed by the Rev. Emil F. Peterson, to make plans for another institute in the spring.
The Church Council of Immanuel Church approved such an institute to be held in Immanuel Church on May 21st. This action was taken on April 14, 1944, and this was the first Sunday School teacher's institute attended by the Sunday School teachers and officers of congregations affiliated with the Minnesota District of the Wisconsin Synod. The group still meets regularly every fall.
Other references to Sunday School work during this period refer to gifts being presented to the members of the Sunday School staff at Christmas time. The first reference to this occurs in the minutes of the Church Council on December 12, 1941. The action was approved and has been continued every year since. In several meetings funds were allowed for new equipment for the Sunday School. In the April 9, 1942 meeting of the Church Council a plan for erecting new partitions in the Sunday School auditorium were approved, and in the meeting on September 7, 1945, funds were allowed to purchase tables and chairs for the primary department in the Sunday School. In the Church
Council meeting on September 8, 1944, permission was granted to induct the members of the Sunday School staff into office in the English service on Sunday, September 10th. This was the beginning of this practice, and is still being done. In the Church Council meeting on August 10, 1945, permission was granted to observe National Sunday School week. In connection with this the Sunday School staff canvassed a large section of Mankato, and observed the first Sunday School Rally on September 23, 1945. The annual picnic was held in the afternoon at Highland Park, and the Sunday School staff spent a social evening together. This was but one of the many social gatherings held by the staff.
In the Board of Education meeting on September 11, 1941, a schedule of Saturday morning instructions for the children of the Junior and Senior confirmation classes was presented. This schedule called for instruction from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. In addition to regular confirmation instruction two additional courses were offered for both classes, namely, Bible History and Hymnology. This plan was presented to the Church Council in its meeting on September 12, 1941 and was approved by the members. During th e month of April in the following year, the Board of Education discussed this plan. The discussion was prompted by the fact that some of the Day School teachers who were assisting with this instruction felt that they were being overworked. The schedule has been modified from year to year, but the plan is still in operation.
Day School and Sunday School
In this period there were several other things accomplished with reference to children both of the Day School and the Sunday School or the educational program as a whole. On November 19, 1942, a chilren's record was presented to the Board of Christian Education. According to this record it is possible to know exactly how many children of school age there are in the congregation, the number in the various age groups and the agencies which they are employing. It is a loose leaf visible binder record, and has proved very successful. It is in use at present. On July 9, 1943, it was reported to the meeting of the Church Council that Mr. Hellermann and Pastor Peterson were calling on all the families where there were children of school age. On March 6, 1944, the Board of Education recommended the following budget to the Church Council: Day School $5137.00, Sunday School $400.00, and confirmation classes $100.00. This was reported to the Church Council, but no action was taken.
A problem referred to in the last period with respect to a change of name for the School Board was solved during this period. In the January 13, 1941 meeting of the congregation the name of the School Board was changed to the Board of Christian Education. In the April 13, 1942 meeting of the congregation a revision for Article VI of the By-Laws which concerned the activity of the former School Board was presented and adopted. The new Article VI reads as follows:
"The Board of Christian Education shall consist of three members, elected by the Church Council from their midst and the pastors shall be ex-officio members of this board. The Board of Christian Education shall exercise main supervision, have duty of visiting the various agencies frequently, and to assist, and give their advice when it is needed
The Board of Christian Education shall consider it their duty to see that all religious instruction is given in the salutary doctrines of the Word of God and Luther's Small Catechism, and the Christian training of children shall be paramount."
Thus the Board of Christian Education has become the steering committee for all the educational work of the congregation. In line with this the Board of Christian Education in a meeting on January 19, 1944 considered the topic entitled: "Scope of Activity of a Board of Christian Education."
In the Church Council meeting on November 21, 1941, it was resolved to present weekly envelopes to all the children enrolled in the educational agencies of the congregation. That this was a profitable move both from the stand-point of training and financial gain for the congregation is evident. The figures at least prove one point. The treasurer's report for 1942 showed that the children had contributed $253.48 for local purposes; $161.45 for missions and $131.56 for a special 30th Anniversary Collection, making a total of $546.49. The treasurer's report for 1944, states that the children contributed for local purposes $287.26 and 179.57 for missions, making a total contribution of $466.83. The report of the treasurer for 1945, shows that the children contributed $307.17 for local purposes, $171.12 for missions and $42.50 for the "Expansion Program". This makes a total of $480.79. The figures speak for themselves.
That there was a trend toward helping the workers of the congregation to advance professionally is evident from the fact that on one occasion a salary increase was granted to the teachers of the Day School so that they might attend summer school. In the Church Council meeting on July 7, 1944, Pastor Peterson was allowed $15.00 a month for four months as part payment of some of his expenses in connection with courses which he was taking at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
In its meeting on October 12, 1945, the Church Council recommended to the congregation that hereafter the congregation should bear the expense of the Christmas bags which are presented to the children on Christmas Eve. Hitherto, it had been the custom for money to be collected from the children for this purpose. The Church Council made the recommendation to the congregation on October 14, 1945, and it was approved by the congregation.
On more important step in the development of an over-all elementary education program for Immanuel Church in this period is worthy of note. In the April, 1945 congregational meeting, Pastor Ackermann expressed the desire of being relieved of some of his responsibility. Several meetings were held to make some adjustment in the work of the two pastors. As a result of these meetings a resolution was presented to the congregation in its meeting on July 8, 1945. In this meeting the congregation adopted the resolution authorizing Pastor Ackermann to delegate whatever responsibility he desired to Pastor Peterson.
During the same week, Pastor Peterson received a call from the St. Paul's Lutheran Church at Amboy, Minnesota. In a meeting held on July 18, 1945, the pastor requested that the Church Council recommend to the congregation that he be granted an honorable release so that he might accept the extended call. His chief reason for asking for his release was his desire for a more definite responsibility than seemed possible under the arrangement established by the congregation on July 8, 1945. However, the Church Council elected a committee to attempt to draw up a definite plan which would establish greater and more definite responsibility for Pastor Peterson in Immanuel congregation. The Church Council met again on July 30, 1945 and adopted the following recommendation to the congregation:
"The special committee recommends:
- That all the educational work in our congregation be made the responsibility of a Director of Christian Education.
By educational director in our congregation, we mean, supervising and directing together with
the congregation and its officers the program of Christian education in:
- The Day School
- The Sunday School
- All the catechetical instructions for children and adults leading up to and including the confirmation of children and adults.
- All the auxiliary organizations of this congregation or any agency which may be employed by this congregation for the Christian education of our members.
- (Additional pastoral duties of director specified).
- That the Director of Christian Education shall be the pastoral advisor of the Board of Christian Education
- That the congregation ask the Rev. Emil F. Peterson to assume the responsibility of this office as Director of Chirstian Education and in view of the larger responsibility and greater opportunities which this offers that he decline the call extended to him by St. Paul's congregation at Amboy, Minnesota."
The fifth resolution called for a letter to be mailed to the members of Immanuel Congregation informing them of the details of the new plan. That letter reads as follows:
"Dear Fellow Members:
This letter is being sent to you to inform you of the action taken in the special congregational meeting on Tuesday, July 31st. In that meeting the work of the pastors was divided by the congregation in such a way that each pastor is to assume responsibility for a definite portion of the pastoral duties for our congregation. A two-fold division was made in which Pastor Ackermann is responsible for the regular pastoral work such as sick call, hospital call, and calls on shut-ins, and Pastor Peterson is to assume the responsibility for supervising of the Day School, the Sunday School, all the catechetical instructions for the children and adults, the educational work in all the auxiliary organizations will be his responsibility, and with the officers and members of the congregation, he will direct this work. In addition to directing the educational work of our congregation, Pastor Peterson will preach German on the first and third Sunday of each month. On these Sundays Pastor Ackermann will preach English. On all other Sundays and holidays, the reverse will be the case. Pastor Peterson will also supervise much of the detail clerical work of the congregation with the necessary secretarial assistance. Also he will make calls on our families as well as prospective members.
According to the resolution adopted, the members of the congregation have a choice of pastors in the performance of official acts such as baptisms, weddings and funerals.
This plan was so arranged to relieve Pastor Ackermann of some of his manifold duties. It gives Pastor Peterson more responsibility inasmuch as he will guide the educational work in our congregation and in that position assume some of the work which was done by Pastor Ackermann in the past.
The members of our congregation can do much in helping to make this plan work by fully realizing and recognizing the division of the pastoral duties of each pastor as outlined above. We feel that this plan can be developed and ask your cooperation. Thank you.
The resolutions having been adopted by the Church Council, they were presented to the congregation in a special meeting held on July 31, 1945. The entire plan was adopted by the congregation. The result is contained in a letter from Pastor Peterson to the chairman of the congregation, Mr. Harold Ahl, which he read to the congregation in its meeting on October 14, 1945. The letter reads as follows:
"Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Congregation
Dear Friends in Christ:
Having asked God to direct my decision in accordance with His wishes and for the welfare of His Church, I have decided that the new position which our congregation had established and offered me, presents me with greater opportunities to serve my Lord and Master than the call which has been extended by St. Paul's congregation in Amboy. Therefore, I have returned that call, and will accept the new position offered by our congregation on Tuesday evening, and which will be sent to the homes of our members in the near future. May the Lord of the Church bless both people and pastors so that the work in His Kingdom may progress and prosper. That must be our chief aim, and in that high purpose God will abide with us and direct us, if we seek not personal interest, but the interest of His Kingdom and His Church and its welfare.
Yours in Christian Fellowship,
The Rev. Emil F. Peterson"
Thus, the period of new horizons closes with the development of a plan which is gradually being put into effect, and with the prayer that the Lord will continue to bless the educational work of Immanuel Congregation, the future pages of the historical development of an overall elementary educational program for Immanuel Congregation will be left in the hands of future, and more able historians.