Pastor Larson’s Corner: The facilities

Pastor Larsons Corner

Pastor Larson recently had a knee replacement surgery. For the next few weeks he will share some thoughts and reflections on this experience.

As I walked into the hospital for my knee surgery there was a wall of photos depicting the history of the hospital from its earliest days. It was interesting to follow the development and growth of this incredible hospital over the years. Three institutions came together about 50 years ago to form the hospital that exists today. One of the original hospitals was started by the son of a missionary and later operated by the Presbyterian Church. Another was started by an Australian Sister. The history of all three institutions reflected the faith and commitment of their founders.

When I experienced a setback in my recovery, I was sent to a different hospital. This hospital was originally started by a group of Norwegian Lutheran Churches in Minneapolis. Over the years this hospital has grown into a whole system of hospitals and clinics located throughout the state of Minnesota. Throughout its history it has managed to keep its ties with local congregations and an association of sponsoring congregations continues to this day.

As I benefited from these wonderful facilities, I couldn’t help but think about the foresight and generosity of the immigrant families who sacrificed so much to make these places of healing and mercy a possibility. Our city and our state would have precious few hospitals, nursing homes, or rehab centers if men and women of faith had not been willing to make the sacrifices necessary to establish them.

It amazes me how people of faith continue to step up to the plate when it comes to missions of love and mercy in their communities. Today, many churches continue to sponsor facilities for people with both long and short term needs. More typically today these facilities house and feed the homeless or minister to the aging and those with disabilities. It warms my heart to see how congregations of believers throughout our land continue to recognize and answer the call to help those in need.

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 30, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.