Reverend Greg Tyler of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Osseo will preach his farewell sermon Sunday, Aug. 25, at 9 a.m. Rev. Tyler’s retirement, after nearly 25 years at St. Paul’s, will begin the next day. He is the longest serving pastor in the congregation’s 148-year history.
Tyler came to St. Paul’s in April 1989. He was a second-career pastor, not having started undergraduate work until after he was 30 and children Sara and Paul had joined the family. Entering the seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. was a step of faith for his whole family.
His modest and humble nature soon endeared Rev. Tyler to his members. He rarely wore his clerical collar and often made shut-in calls on his motorcycle.
“That’s your pastor?” asked the nursing home staff.
But after observing Rev. Tyler’s loving ministry and passionate prayers, he would become a favorite.
“This guy doesn’t have an arrogant bone his body,” they would say.
Sunday School children loved his clever children’s messages, never knowing if he would come out with bare feet or chew off the ears of a chocolate bunny. But whatever the topic, he always pointed kids to Christ.
Older members who were counting on one of Rev. Tyler’s “slam dunk” funeral sermons feel more than a little cheated. “Nobody does funerals like Rev. Tyler,” said longtime member Mae House.
Particularly wrenching for St. Paul’s members and for the Tyler’s is the unwritten rule for retiring pastors — make a clean break. So Tyler and his wife Colleen will join another church,
“Rev. Tyler is so honorable,” said congregational president Brian Hines. “He would never want to upstage the new guy. Difficult as it might be, he will do the right thing.”
What does a pastor do in retirement after such a consuming job? “I’m looking forward to some fishing,” said Rev. Tyler. “And some serious motorcycle riding. I’d really like to support my wife. She has worked all this time. Now it is my turn to help in any way I can. And of course, I want to serve the Lord as he needs me.”
St. Paul’s Lutheran is located at 710 E. Broadway in Osseo. Further information is available at the website stpaulsosseo.org.