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Even before I interviewed Glenn Schwanke, our newest contributing editor, I felt like I already knew him.
His name may not be new to you either. He wrote our Campus Ministry column for several years and has contributed numerous features as well—with a style that is filled with personal stories, humor, and pathos.
Even his e-mail address—yooperrev—tells you something about him.
Yet I learned even more about this self-proclaimed introvert who has served Peace, Houghton, Mich., and the campus ministry at Michigan Technological University for the past 21 years. Here’s what I discovered:
- He lives in the snow capital of the Midwest,which has an average annual snowfall of 218 inches. “Our snow storms are biblical in nature: they last 40 days and 40 nights,” he says. Snow and ice fit well into his favorite hobby: ice fishing. “What’s not to love?” he says. “Brusque temps of 20 below; howling, blinding winds. Frozen face and hands after mere minutes of exposure. But then drill a few holes in the ice, pop up a portable shanty, turn on the heater, drop the flasher’s transducer into the hole, and blissfully while away the hours jigging away!”
- His congregation grew out of a WELS Campus Ministry that goes back to 1969. Because of the university’s large international student base, his ministry offers unique outreach opportunities. “There have been many evenings when I walked home from our chapel, paused, looked up at the stars, and said, ‘Lord, you have a sense of humor. World mission work in Houghton, Michigan!’ ”
- He has served WELS in a variety of ways, including as a circuit pastorand as a member ofthe WELS Mental Health Committee and the Commission on Inter-Church Relations. He currently serves as first vice president of the Northern Wisconsin District and as a member of the Translation Liaison Committee. He also is part of the Wartburg Project, a parasynodical organization working on the Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) Bible translation.
- He and his wife, Teresa, have been married for 39 years and have one daughter, Victoria, who is getting married this summer. Schwanke took Victoria’s fiancéthrough adult baptism and confirmation. “He’s had a challenging upbringing, so it was rather overwhelming when he wrote me a Christmas card this year and told me, ‘You’re the dad I never had,’ ” says Schwanke.
- “Jovial” is how he describes himself. “I’d rather get wrinkles on my face from a smile and laughter than from weeping and frowns,” he says.
- The messagehe wants to share with readers? “That no matter what this life brings, no matter how hard it becomes, no matter how bewildered we get because of fast-paced changes in the world around us, there is always ‘Jesus Christ . . . the same yesterday and today and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8 EHV).”
He continues: “Sometimes I wake up in the morning (always a good way to start the day at my age), and joy washes through me at this thought: I have been given the gift of life, now and into eternity, because Jesus lived, died, and rose again for me. I’d like others to have that same joy, peace, and confident hope—precious gifts that only Jesus can give.”
Do you have a manuscript, idea, or story from your own life you’d like to share for use in Forward in Christ or on wels.net? Use our online form to share it to our editorial office for consideration.
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Volume 105, Number 3
Issue: March 2018
Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
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