Loren Schumacher gave his Classification speech, introducing himself and relating his biography. He began by pointing out that his Rotary badge lists his classification as Religion, and we all know that he is the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Cloquet.
 
He grew up in Sturgeon Bay, WI, in Door County on a dairy farm with a cherry and apple orchard. He attended Carroll College in Waukesha, WI, a Presbyterian private college, even though his family's background is Wisconsin Synod Lutheran. He majored in Latin, Geography and Greek and attended the U of M for graduate school. This is where he met his wife, Linda. They got married and he followed her to attend Luther Seminary, where they both graduated as 
ministers. Since they shared the call to ministry, they now share a ministry at Zion. They have 2 children, both adults now. Their daughter is an English professor and their son is in Madison. 
 
Five years ago, Loren had a heart attack with open heart surgery. It changed how he looks at things. He chose a life of religion 35 years ago because he had a sense of call, a mission. With a religious career your personal and work life are intertwined. Now he feels a new excitement about the presence of the church in the world today. The church is going through a change right now with decline in attendance and cultural changes the church must address. If we look back at the history of the church, these big changes have happened about every 500 years. Two thousand years ago Christianity emerged out of Judaism; 1500 years ago Rome fell and the church became more isolated; 1000 years ago the great schism occurred with the East versus the West, resulting in Roman Catholicism in the West; 500 years ago the Reformation took place with the emergence of Protestant churches. Now another change is underway, which many people fear is a bad thing. But it may be a flow and recurrence of a positive change.  Since society affects faith, the church adjusts to those changes. We are living in a changing world and the church can facilitate those changes. 
 
Loren concluded that since he will be 65 in September and is thinking about retiring, he is excited about the challenges before us now. He sees it as positive, invigorating and full of a newness waiting.
 
Excerpts taken from the Cloquet Rotary log, edited by Rachel Martin. 
 
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