8:00 AM - 3:00 PM,
Monday through Thursday
8:00 PM - 12:00 PM
2640 Barnett Road, E-334
Medford, OR 97504
2617 Barnett Road
Medford, OR 97504
We are excited to welcome Pastor Doug and Linda Vold to our Ascension family.
EDUCATION Master of Divinity in Theology, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN 1981; Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA, 1977
EXPERIENCE Pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Helena, MT for past 13 years; Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Missoula, MT from 1992 to 1997; Re-Developer for Division for Outreach, ELCA, Missoula, MT from 1989 to 1992; Pastor of Lutheran Church of Sunburst, Sunburst, MT, from 1981 to 1989
PERSONAL MINISTRY STATEMENT It is a joy and a privilege to journey with people through life’s ups and downs, discovering together the grace of God that renews our life and our hope. My calling is to serve this grace we know in Jesus Christ and to lead the church in bringing it to the world.
Change and Continuity
Pastor Doug Vold
In preparation for Ascension Sunday this year, I got to wondering about the origins of this congregation called Ascension. I found some newspaper clippings introducing a new pastor to the area. We have saved some early documents and bulletins that shed light on that period. And I came across some pictures of this building in its first few years of use. One large color photograph, in particular, caught my eye.
This is the building as it was in 1958. There is the signature A-frame style, but smaller and without the sides that now form the shape of a cross. Also attached is a small flat-roofed wing for classrooms and offices. Roxy Ann (is it a hill or a mountain?) is in the background. The hospital is in the distance. There is virtually no landscaping; no grass, no paved parking lot, and no juniper bushes. Not one. But there it is, the very identifiable beginning of the building we have now.
It is the sort of picture that makes me ponder change and continuity. Some things change. Some things stay the same. The building has seen many additions and variations. Yet some of it is still the same beams and boards that are there in the picture. We have needed more space. We have needed different space. So we have made changes to our structure. Yet it is not a different building altogether, either.
Change and continuity. So it is with the church, and by that I mean congregations and Christianity, not just our building. Over the years there have been mergers and reformations, modest evolutions and serious shake-ups. Language has changed. We don’t use “thees and thous” anymore. Technology has changed. The telephone was once a cutting edge tool for ministry. There were no computers in our original building.
And yet there is continuity as well. We remain rooted in Word and Sacrament. The theological heritage in which this congregation began still thrives. We still live by God’s amazing grace and seek to share that grace with the community in which we live. We worship, pray, celebrate God’s life among us in the Spirit, and engage in God’s mission in the world.
That mission itself is shaped by both change and continuity. The culture is not the same as it was in 1958 when we first moved into this building. The hurts and hang-ups of our world today call forth fresh applications of the “old old story.” We may try things our grandparents would never have thought of, all for the sake of making sure our grandchildren, too, have exposure to this God of grace we know in the story of Jesus.
Styles come and go. Structures come and go. Things evolve and change. Sometimes it can seem like almost nothing remains of that world we see in the picture of Ascension’s first building. Yet the mission is still God’s mission. We have been claimed and called. God is present and faithful every day. And the continuity of God sustains us.