Ministerial couple get send-off for Jordan post


TEMPERANCE — People from the different circles that the Rev. Angela Zimmann and the Rev. Martin Zimmann occupy gathered Sunday at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church to say good-bye to the couple.

The well-wishers included family and friends, and came from Trinity Lutheran Church in Riga, Mich., and St. Luke’s, congregations the pastors served; the universities where the Zimmanns taught, and the world of northwest Ohio politics, in which Pastor Angela Zimmann was active.

Their circles came to make it official — to commission as missionaries the Zimmanns and their two children. The family will serve the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, where they will also be assistants to the bishop there, Munib Younan. The Zimmanns’ circles were at St. Luke’s to share the Sunday when both of the Zimmanns said goodbye from their pulpits before their move to Jerusalem later this month.

The Rev. Frank Paine, pastor of St. Luke’s, where Rev. Martin Zimmann was assisting pastor, and who has known Angela Zimmann since she was in kindergarten, as he was pastor of the Toledo church her family attended, said after the service, “I’m sure we’ll find a time to get a group and go visit them.”

Bishop Donald Kreiss of the Southeast Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said, “I’m very excited to have this really very tangible, very human [connection]. We know these people. They have lived here. Now they will live amongst our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem and make that connection go so deep and so personal.”

Pastor Angela Zimmann was thinking of those brothers and sisters she and her husband will serve in the Old City of Jerusalem. “The congregation has had three pastors in six years, and the people there are expatriates who have a lot of upheaval in the rest of their lives,” she said. “What we’re looking forward to is getting in there and the opportunity to be there for them for awhile.”

Speaking in the service, Pastor Martin Zimmann said, “When times are difficult and there are reports on the news and you hear things and see things that are alarming, just remember that the news is not always the facts on the ground, but do keep us in your prayers.”

He also made a personal observation: “I’ve been there before. Angela and the kids have not, so if they don’t like it, I’m in a lot of trouble.”