Thursday, June 30, 2011

Second Retirement of Pastor David Dissen

This post is a few weeks overdue. 

Pr  Dave Dissen recently retired after eleven years of part-time service as Vacancy Pastor of the University Lutheran Chapel of Hope in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and after over fifty years of ordination as an LCMS pastor.  He has also served as the Vacancy Pastor at my congregation -- Zion Lutheran Church in Poplar Bluff -- and Senior Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. Over the years he had supervised twenty LCMS Seminarian Vicars, including my current Pastor, Rev. Marty E. Reed.  His own vicarage was in Cuba at the beginning of the communist revolution there.  Pr. Dissen has also served as a Missouri District Vice President, member of the Board of Regents at Concordia Seminary, chaplain of the Cape Girardeau Fire Department and member of various synodical task forces.  According to Dr. Martin Noland's paper in The Theology and Life of Dr. Robert D. Preus, Pr. Dissen was president of Dr. Preus' International Foundation for Lutheran Confessional Research which was originally associated with the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics series.  His chapel devotions are frequently seen reprinted in Christian News.

Here are the last letters he sent to the University Lutheran Chapel of Hope board of directors:

Greetings everyone,
    I want to express my sincere thanks to all you Board Members for the very thoughtful gift presented to me yesterday by Beverly Lewis at the Chapel service by the Board at my retirement. 
    Thanks so much for the digital desk clock and pad and also the very nice card.  I'm glad to see the numbers on the clock are very large.  At my age, large letters help.  Most of you don't know what I am talking about now but if you live long enough, you will experience it for yourself.
    Thanks also for the beautiful altar flowers.  It is not often that we have altar flowers for our Chapel services so this was an extra added touch.
    Thanks also to Curt Wills for providing the supper, to Kirk Sandfort for the very tasty and wonderfully decorated cake, to Howard Hemman for bringing the salad and Joyce Wollenburg for bringing special plates, napkins and also some brownies.  Thanks also to all those who cleaned up after the supper.
    These past eleven years have gone quickly.  I thank the Lord for permitting me to provide a Word and Sacrament Ministry to our college students and also to see some of the immediate blessings of this ministry in the lives of some of the students.
    You have a great leadership team for the future in Pastor Schwiesow and Matthew Younghouse.  Give them your continued support in the coming years as you have supported my ministry in the past.  You have been a true blessing to his ministry and will continue to be. 
    Thanks again for a wonderful retirement supper.  Since I have asked but have not received a "clear" answer as to who all was involved in planning yesterday's event, I will say to all of you and especially to those who did the planning: "THANK YOU SO MUCH" for a wonderful retirement gift.
    In Christ Jesus,
    Pastor Dissen,
    Rev. 2,10b
Tomorrow, May 8th, is our last worship service for this semester.  We worship at 5 PM with Holy Communion and supper after the service which is provided by the Board Members and co-ordinated by Curt Wills.  Thanks, Curt, for your help.
This is my last service in my present capacity since I am retiring from the Campus Ministry after the end of this month.  Pastor Wayne Schwisow and Matthew Younghouse are assuming the new leadership.  They are a real God-send to our campus ministry and, with God's blessings, will do very well.
Many thanks to all those who have been such a tremendous help to me in this vital ministry the past 11 years.  It has been a joy to be involved in this campus ministry.
No Bible Study next Wednesday.
All personal possessions must be removed from the campus facilities by the end of Friday, May 13th.  The locks will be re-keyed and your present key to the back door and the library/computer room will no longer work.
Congratulations to all our graduates.  May you be a blessing to many in the future. 
In Christ Jesus,
Pastor Dissen,
Rev. 2,10b
One of my many favorite hymns in The Lutheran Hymnal is "Stand Up! - Stand Up for Jesus!" I realize that some Christians do not like this hymn because they think that it is too militant! They don’t want to hear Christians singing about fighting and warfare! However, these Christians overlook the inescapable truth that this side of heaven we Christians are members of the Church Militant, not the Church Triumphant.
Jesus Himself reminds you and me and all His followers that in this life there is a daily battle going on between right and wrong, and truth and falsehood in which we are engaged. He states very plainly: "I came not to send peace, but a sword."
As Christian students at a secular college at SEMO in Cape Girardeau, you know all too well the constant temptations you have both on and off campus to become bed partners with sin, to silence and desensitize your conscience when it comes to sins of commission and omission, and to excuse and/or rationalize any covenant you make with sin and Satan.
Christians with a knowledge of God’s Word and an operative brain know that our college students (and all of us) are constantly faced with very powerful anti-moral and anti-Christian forces that confront all of us. These forces are evident in college professors and fellow students who ridicule the Bible and Christianity. These forces attack our Christian faith in classroom books that undermine the truth of God’s Word.  They assault our Christian faith and moral decency through the filth of poisonous pornographic magazines and the moral debauchery of inter-net websites that feed sinful lusts. They seek to destroy our Christian values through seductive and destructive movies, songs and TV programs that laugh at sin and chastity, ridicule Christian family life and make a mockery of Christ’s morally pure truths.
As you students either continue your studies at SEMO after I leave the campus ministry or as you pursue your chosen career after graduation, my prayer is that you will always "Stand Up - Stand Up for Jesus! Fight against all the treacherous forces of evil and your own sinful flesh by taking to heart the words of the hymn writer: "Put on the Gospel armor, Each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls or danger, Be never wanting there."
Receive the daily strength that you need to "Stand Up for Jesus" by going to the Word of God’s Grace in which He assures you that He forgives you all your sins and removes the guilt and stain of your sinful lives because Christ died for you and rose again. Keep up your DBR degree—your Daily Bible Reader degree. Read it with reverence. Read it for the indwelling guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit. Read it to build up your Christian faith, life and character. Through the unconquerable power of God in His Word and His holy sacraments, He will use you to be a spiritual and moral blessing in this sin-perishing world and will on the last day give you the crown of eternal life by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Never be ashamed to "Stand Up! - Stand Up for Jesus!" and His Word of truth.

In Christ Jesus,
Rev. David V. Dissen,
Lutheran Chapel of Hope
PO Box 1465 Cape Girardeau, MO 63702
Tel.: Home: 573-334-5736 Cell: 573-837-0969
O God, help us always to Stand Up for Jesus! We pray in His holy name, Amen.