10 years ago

• Perham's Pastor Anderson ships out to Iraq as Marine Chaplain:

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With a wife, five kids and a newly formed church to pastor-and a recent call to serve our country in Iraq for a year-it appears that timing is not on Rev. Paul Anderson's side.

Yet, despite the difficulties and heartache of leaving both family and flock behind, Anderson is determined to look at his deployment with an upward focus. "The timing is not perfect, but I believe in God's timing," he says of the situation.

Ever since the church's inception over two years ago, Anderson has served as pastor of New Creation Lutheran Church in Perham. The congregation is currently embarking on a building project to construct their own facility in town, making for an especially critical time for the church.

Although he readily admits to some anxiety about leaving during this time of transition, Anderson adds, "I believe that God has a call for me and a reason to go. I believe my church and family will come through this even stronger."

Anderson is scheduled to leave Minnesota on September 1, to start training in North Carolina. He will then go on to California for a few weeks, before being sent to Iraq on September 22.

In Iraq, Anderson will be serving with the 1st Marines as a RCT-1 Deputy Chaplain. He will not be engaged in active combat, but rather working with the Marines to provide them support and guidance.

The unit Anderson will be going to Iraq with is not his normal unit. There are 663 people in the Marine Wing Support Squadron unit he will be serving with, and half of the unit has already been deployed. Anderson is actually a chaplain with the Navy, which supplies the staff core for the Marines.

From what Anderson understands, he will be primarily working on base, traveling out on occasion. Although the majority of his time will be spent ministering to the Marines, he will also play a role in helping the surrounding communities in Iraq to rebuild.

"The Marines get tagged as fighting machines--trained to kill," Anderson says of the group he will be working with, "but also I hope they're trained to stay alive."

In order to best meet some of the complex needs of those who are involved in the military, Anderson says he will rely heavily on his experience as a pastor. With over 15 years of serving in a chaplain capacity, Anderson also sees his military experience as benefitting him in his role in the church.

"I feel that my military experience has helped my parish experience, and vice versa," says Anderson. He explained how responsibilities such as leading worship, counseling individuals, and learning to be an effective listener have helped to make him a better chaplain. Anderson also credits the Hospice training that he went through.

Locally, Anderson serves as pastor at New Creation, and previously as the pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church, both in Perham. He has also been involved in the Becker County chaplain program, and has experience working in the metro area as a police chaplain.

On the home front, Anderson and his wife Kimberly are currently in the process of adopting a 10-year-old girl from Nicaragua. She will be the sixth child in the family, joining the rest of the Anderson crew--whose ages range from 1 to 13.


• Runaway cows take to the streets:

Although it's hard to blame them, it's more than a minor inconvenience when animals headed for the local locker plant seize their opportunity and escape into the streets of Perham.

"It happens throughout the year," acknowledged Perham Police Officer Todd Sandahl.

Yet it's not quite so often that not one, but two animals, execute a successful getaway in the same day.

At 9:15 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 25, police were informed of the day's first escape. A young Angus steer got loose while being herded into the locker plant.

The breakaway prompted several locals, including Officer Sandahl, to commence the chase around town, in an attempt to get the animal away from people, homes and businesses and into an open field.

"We cornered it in the 400 block of Fourth Street SW," said Sandahl. "It wedged itself up between a fence and a house."

Due to the agitated condition of the animal, Sandahl was forced to shoot the steer in the backyard of a Perham residence.

An hour later in the day, a second animal escaped in the city, finding its way downtown.

"When I first saw itm it was on Main Street," said Bert Nelson, who helped corral the Holstein cow. "They cut it off and it started going down First Avenue South."

A handful of bystanders helped chase the animal back into a trailer with relative ease.


Perham Enterprise-Bulletin Aug. 28, 2008

40 years ago

• People from 14 states visit 7th annual Pioneer Festival:

People from 14 states braved the hot, dry weather last Sunday to take in the events at the 7th annual Pioneer Festival at the site of the Pioneer Homestead north of Perham.

Visitors came from Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, California, Illinois, Maryland, Washington, Nebraska, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, South Dakota and Minnesota. They were treated to the largest display of crafts, demonstrations and special displays in the history of the event.

Four people were demonstration old time skills including ferrier Dori Perszyk, stone splitter Jim Mann, potter wheel demonstrator Lori Schumacher and wool spinner Brenda Ekstrom.


• School days, school days...starting in a few days:

The summer-long respite from school for Perham students is drawing to a close with classes set to begin next Tuesday, Aug. 29.

And with students coming back, the teachers and administration have been gearing up for the 1978-79 school year to begin. Senior high principal Tom Skaaland will be in his 25th year in Perham, with both junior high principal Denny Drummond and elementary principal Steve Stansberry in their second years here.

Skaaland has seen numerous changes in his previous 24 years in the district. One of the biggest has been the growth of the school, which was a 475 in grades 7-12 his first year here compared to 820 this year.

"I try to do something different and better if I can," he says. "At least that's been my goal. There's always something new and different. There's something new everyday I come to school."


Thursday, Aug. 24, 1978 Perham Enterprise Bulletin