Pastor David Fretham and wife Darlene

Pastor David Fretham to retire

Special services, open house planned for Sunday, June 9

The Rev. David Fretham will soon retire after serving 40 years as a Lutheran pastor, and having served the local Zion Lutheran Church the past seven years.

Pastor Dave considers retirement as moving on to other things. Retirement is specifically mentioned only once in the Bible.  It applied to the Levites, who were charged with serving God by doing much of the work in and around the Tabernacle (or tent of meeting) and later, the Temple.  They were allowed to begin their work at age 25 and work until the mandatory retirement age of 50.  

Retirement, however, was not the end of the Levites’ work,  said a smiling Pastor Dave during a recent interview. The pur-pose was not to remove productive workers from service, but to redirect their service in a more mature direction, given the conditions of their occupation. After retirement they could still “assist their brothers in the tent of meeting in carrying out their duties” Judgment, wisdom, and insight, perhaps — may actually improve with increasing age. By “assisting their brothers,” older Levites transitioned to different ways of serving their communities. 

Like the Levites, we should not seek a total cessation of meaningful work in old age, says Pastor Dave, referring to the Bible passage.  Many elders may want or need to relinquish our positions, but their abilities and wisdom are still valuable, and they may continue to serve others. They may be able to invest more time with their families, or in the lives of children and young people. Often their most valuable new service is coach-ing and encouraging younger workers.

Pastor Dave has already committed to one pulpit to support in Mountain Lake, and another in Trimont, filling in for pastors when needed.

Pastor Dave and his wife, Darlene, are planning to move later this month to Winnebago where they have purchased a house.


See complete story in this week's issue of the Springfield Advance-Press.

Springfield Advance-Press

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