By Sue Sprang

SYNOD – At this year’s synod assembly, The North/West Lower Michigan Synod bids a fond farewell to long-time synod office support staff member Margie Bauer. Bauer served under Bishops Emeriti Gary Hansen and John Schleicher and current Bishop Craig Satterlee.

“I’ve enjoyed being a very small part of the administration of the synod and the ELCA.”

After moving to the Lansing area in May 1997, Bauer and her husband, Ken, joined St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Lansing. She soon came across a brief notice the synod had placed in area congregations’ newsletters stating that the synod was looking for someone to work in the office.

“I have done different types of office work all my life and knew I wanted something meaningful,” Bauer said, “so this appealed to me.”

Bauer applied for the positon, was hired by Hansen, and began working in October 1997. Initially, she served as part-time assistant to Schleicher, who was the Assistant to the Bishop for Outreach. In 2000 she added primary bookkeeper to her duties, although she has done other jobs as needed.

Bauer will carry a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with her.

“The pluses [of the job] are the many wonderful people I have met, both from working with them and from meeting them through congregations they attend,” she said. “I’ve had some really good times with my fellow workers.

“I’ve also enjoyed being a very small part of the administration of the synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The work being done here is rewarding and important.”

As in most jobs, there have been challenges.

“I guess the greatest challenge was during the financial recession in 2008 that lasted a few years. We had to make many cuts,” Bauer said. “It was hard on the staff as well as the congregations and the ministries that we serve.

“I have also seen a number of people leave [the synod office] over the years.  It’s always hard to say goodbye.”

Bauer looks forward to the new direction in her life. Family is at the center.

Margie and Ken Bauer look forward to spending time with family.

“The majority of both my and Ken’s families live in Grand Rapids and we also have good friends there,” she said. “We’ve already purchased a home there and will be moving as soon as Ken retires at the end of May or our home here sells – whichever comes first. In any case, we hope to be moved by the end of June.”

And now there’s a grandson in the picture.

“I have several ideas of things I really want to get involved in but first I’m going to take some time” Bauer said, “but I know we will be visiting our daughter, Christine; her husband, Kyle; and our little grandson, Knox (born Dec. 6, 2017) very often!”

Knox and his parents live in Northfield, Minnesota.

“Margie has been responsible for all things financial in the synod office for several years,” Satterlee said. “She has faithfully kept our books and in many ways been the keeper of our synod’s oral history. We wish her and Ken every blessing and plenty of time to spend with their grandson, Knox.

“In addition to her service to our synod and rooting for the Spartans and Tigers, I will miss Margie’s prayers in worship. Thank you, Margie!”

The people of the N/W Lower Michigan Synod wish Bauer every blessing as well.