As an ordained deacon one of my responsibilities each Sunday is to have “the prayers of the people.” There are certain areas to be covered with reminders and I can add as I need. It’s such a privilege.
But today I failed.
There is a place where we pray:
“For all those who have departed this life in the certain hope of the resurrection…” and we have a place to name names. If there has been a death in the congregation that week, that would be appropriate. If it is more personal, it’s harder to mention their name out loud in that space without explanation.
As I said that line, I remembered a gentle man who had pastored for decades in that moment. I realized I should have prepped with a few words before the prayers and to name him now would be personal to me but without context to anyone else. My heart broke because I wanted to tell my church about a very gentle soul who had impacted so much of my life.
His name was Sherm Buschow. When I first went to “Bible college” … “back in the day”… I decided to attend a church that was going through a transition. I loved the new pastor coming in right away and I stuck there for the duration learning so much from a pastor who was in a very tough situation.
I also learned that a few years before Sherm Buschow had pastored that church and it grew tremendously under his leadership. The building we worshiped in at the time was a new project under his ministry because the church was growing. Over the years I was able to meet Pastor Buschow and I always loved his gentle spirit. He was a good man that was always pleasant in conversation.
About ten years after Bible college I found myself back in Minnesota pastoring a church in Columbia Heights, MN. And as things would go… Sherman Buschow had pastored there as well.
By that time he was retired and one year I heard he was celebrating 50 years of ordained ministry in the Assemblies of God. That is a BIG deal. Pastor Buschow was attending a huge church at the time and I had a feeling they weren’t going to know his milestone. Since he had pastored Columbia Heights, I got in touch with his kids (all adults) and they made the effort to come to a special service and we all surprised him. It was a wonderful celebration.
We will have so many saints in our lives who touch us and the world won’t know much about them. But… wow… the impact they had on our lives. Pastor Buschow was that kind of man. He would preach for me on occasion. He was always cheering me on.
And he passed away this past week. I missed sharing that with our church in the prayers of the people, only getting to pause to whisper his name in thanks before moving on. Yet, I want to honor him and his memory.
May God bless his memory.