I was born on a small family farm in Northeastern Pennsylvania with loving parents, a brother, and three sisters. I was baptized in a local Lutheran Church 5 weeks later and had a typical life of a farm kid. We worked six days a week and went to Church and Sunday School on Sundays. And little else.
The church was the cornerstone of all social activities. And there were not many of them. I recall rebelling against the requirement that I had to go to church when I was about four years old. My mom told me I could stay home while everyone else went to Church. It was a very lonely feeling I never wanted to repeat, and that experience burned into my psyche. I rarely missed church since then.
Since leaving the farm I have lived in nine different cities, countrywide, and usually preceded my family. During that period, I would visit Lutheran congregations to decide where we would worship. The churches were all good, but they were not always convenient to get to. When I was transferred to Louisiana and decided to live in Kenner, I looked for a church close to our house that would allow us to be more involved in parish life. It was a good move that we joined CTK. We liked the church, the congregation, and the pastors. And it has been a blessing ever since.
Supporting the Church financially has been a challenge at times, but one that has become easier since I retired and turned 70 1/2. The money I saved and my company's contributions, if donated directly from my Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to the church, were not subject to any taxes since they were treated as Qualified Charitable Distributions, a tax benefit that worked to the advantage of both the church and me.