Olson, Lundgren Get Humorous Tribute

By Stan Friedman

CHICAGO, IL (June 28, 2014) — Laughter was abundant during the portion of today’s business session of the 129th Annual Meeting during which retiring Covenant executives Dean Lundgren and Doreen Olson were honored.

President Gary Walter told delegates the two already had been feted at the Midwinter Pastors Conference, and he asked that photos of the two be shown on the large video screens. The pictures had been altered to show the Covenant logo tattooed on their necks.

“Yep, that’s missional piety right there,” quipped Walter, who had included photos of Covenanters who really had tattoos during his report to delegates a day earlier.

Walter pointed out that Lundgren and Olson had served a combined 38 years. Lundgren, vice president of finance and director of pension, is retiring after 22 years. Doreen Olson is retiring after 16 years as executive minister of the Department of Christian Formation.

Olson said, “It is a privilege of course and an honor to be called by God and equipped by God to serve in this movement of missional pietists who long to be in relationship with Jesus Christ and let Jesus lead them into the world in places that are broken and needing our love and concern.”

Click here, to read a previous story on Olson’s years of service.

Lundgren is a Boston-area native and said that while he hated the New York Yankees, all of the retirement send-offs, including several others with different Covenant boards and committees, were making him feel like legendary relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, who retired last year, and Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter. Rivera was honored at every stadium the Yankees played last year, and the same is being done in honor of Jeter wherever the team plays.

Click here, to read a previous story announcing Lundgren’s retirement

Lundgren’s wife, Jill, provided her own humorous perspective. Citing the fact that Dean doesn’t have any plans for what he was going to do during retirement, she told the delegates, “I think he’s going to be bored. Quite frankly, I’m just a little concerned! I really could use prayers from everybody.”

Moderator Stan Long replied, “I would just like to say to Jill, ‘We heard every word you said.’ ”

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