YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

Busch leaves Grace Lutheran for Downey church

June 28, 2002|By DORA DEPAOLI

Staff Writer

The Rev. Lewis Busch will soon be leaving Grace Lutheran Church in El Centro for a church in Downey.

Busch will be preaching his last sermon Sunday before moving to Good Shepherd Lutheran in the Los Angeles County city. His sermon text will be the 23rd Psalm and is titled, "The Lord is Our Shepherd."

"I was doing some shut-in calls for the last time, the past few days, and I decided to talk about the Good Shepherd," Busch said. "Ultimately God is the shepherd and we pastors are only the undershepherds."

Congregation chairman Henry Nilson said he understands the need for Busch to respond to the call to shepherd another church.

"Over the past decade, Pastor Busch has been at our sides, be it at work or at play or at a hospital," Nilson said. "We have shared life and death with our pastor as children were born and as others passed into eternity."


A 1992 graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., Grace Lutheran was Busch's first church, and he is leaving with reluctance.

"Over the time here I have developed a lot of close friends with the members and the community," Busch said. "I feel there has been growth in many of the members having a more outward-looking prospective."

While here he has been a member of the Friday Noontime Kiwanis Club and has done some work as a freelance photographer, including for this newspaper.

Busch said there will be some similarities between the church he is leaving and the one in Downey. Both have parochial schools and both are in multi-ethnic communities.

"The church needs to minister to the whole community," Busch said.

Since Busch has been in El Centro, Grace Lutheran School enrollment has exceeded 100 students for the first time. The Good Shepherd school has about 140 students.

Curt Swain, a longtime church elder, said of Busch, "He has been a very caring and thoughtful pastor during his years here. We will miss both him and his family."

Another elder, Dick Slobig, said: "He has been very good for the church. He has tried to make innovations to keep up with today's times. He instituted a second service on Sundays where we had more modern music. He has had weekly services at the Naval Air Facility, and once a month he does the service at Trinity Lutheran in Brawley."

Busch and his wife, Edith, have three children.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles