Birthdays, Memories and Gratitude

Serving cake
Happy Birthday Allison!

Today is a wonderful day! Today I have the joy of celebrating my wife Allison on her birthday. The day started off very well with her favorite pancakes as breakfast in bed, thanks to friends from church who brought back the Snoqualmie Pancake mix from Washington recently. It will include a visit to a local ice cream parlor later, and hopefully lots of well wishes from friends and loved ones as well.

At the same time, I am struck by the memory and gratitude for someone who recently passed away. Today I am thinking about Rev. E. Silas Torvend. Whether Pastor Torvend knew this or not, he played a notable role in both Allison’s and my life.

Pastor Torvend was the pastor who baptized Allison many years ago when she was just a baby. At that time, looking back, the impact of Pastor Torvend on our lives began.

Allison and I together with our Research in Religion Class with Dr. Torvend
Allison and I together with our Research in Religion Class with Dr. Torvend

Years later, Allison and I, though not knowing each other yet both decided to attend Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). While students at PLU we both found ourselves enjoying classes in the religion department, including classes taught by Dr. Samuel Torvend, Pastor Torvend’s son.

If it weren’t for Pastor Torvend and his wife Alice, we never would have met Dr. Torvend, and learned so much about religion. But more than that, Allison and I may never have grown in our friendship. I truly believe it is because of Dr. Torvend and a few other religion professors who helped create opportunities for group learning that Allison and I grew as friends and then later into a couple.

Rev. E. Silas Torvend
Rev. E. Silas Torvend


I am also grateful to Pastor Torvend and his wife Alice because of their great and generous stewardship. I was blessed to receive a scholarship for religion students in their name at PLU. This helped me finish college financially strong and led me off to graduate studies in good financial standing.

So, as I celebrate Allison’s birthday today, I also can’t help but think and be grateful for the wonderful gifts, life, faithfulness, service and leadership of Pastor E. Silas Torvend.

To Dr. Torvend, his mother Alice, and the whole Torvend family, I express my deepest gratitude for your husband, father, and friend. Thank you all for your friendship, for the way, whether you know it or not that you have positively affected our lives, ministry and future ministry, and for being such gifts to us, the larger church and the world.

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