After 36 years as a pastor, 27 of them in Bonfield, the Reverend John Kiefer, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Bonfield, will give his final sermon on June 2.
Zion Lutheran, with a congregation of 150 baptized members, sees a weekly attendance of around 80 people. Kiefer has enjoyed pastoring this rural congregation where he has had the opportunity to get to know his parishioners well.
When asked about the worst times of his job, Kiefer stated that the loss of young people who have gone to Heaven too early has been the most difficult part of his career.
The best part of his career has been the caring, loving people who he has met in this area. He shares, “It is hard to leave them. They have become part of the family.”
Kiefer and his wife, Sandy, who retired last year from teaching 4th grade at Kennedy School in Kankakee, have two grown children, Hannah and Seth.
Upon retirement, he will be returning to his roots in Bremen, IN, to live on the farm which has been in his family since 1865. Besides modernizing the family farmhouse, they plan to travel to places like Australia, New Zealand, and Mt. Everest.
No strangers to travel, the couple has already visited Hong Kong, Peru, Scotland, and Switzerland as well as other locales.
Kiefer would like to thank the people from the Herscher/Bonfield area for their support throughout the years He states, “They have been very kind and accepting.”
Kiefer shares his appreciation of small towns in the Community Encouragement column on page 5.
A potluck dinner will follow the 10 a.m. services on Sunday, June 2.
Zion Lutheran Church is located on Route 17, just east of Herscher Road.