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Morse honored as Pastor Emeritus

Lead Summary
Lori Sorenson

The Reverend Doctor Terry Morse was honored with the title of Pastor Emeritus during the Sunday worship service at the First Presbyterian Church in Luverne on March 12.
The title is given to a pastor who retires and the congregation is later moved “with affection and gratitude” to continue an association in an honorary relationship.
“Today that title is given to you once again,” said the Rev. Dr. Val Putnam, interim Presbyterian Church pastor in Luverne.
“You are ‘Pastor Terry,’ and you will be as long as you live. You will be Pastor Terry, because this congregation and the Session has recognized the outstanding contribution you’ve made to this church.”
Pastor Morse and his wife, Martha, were both honored during the March 12 service.
“Martha has been with Terry as a partner in ministry this whole time, and this whole congregation is aware of her energy, imagination and love,” Putnam said. “We are so blessed to have Martha with us.”
Phil Voigt and Deb VanderKooi shared comments about the Morses during the ceremony.
Voigt said he admired the Morses’ ability to adapt to the congregation and the community when they first moved to Luverne, and he thanked them for their sacrifices and grace.
“Please know this congregation will continue to be blessed, as it has been, through your service,” Voigt said.
“We’d like to acknowledge that this congregation cares for you. We know that life has thrown you some curves, and we have watched you take on significant challenges while maintaining a gracious approach to them.”
VanderKooi thanked Pastor Morse for his generous spirit and gentle guidance.
“Thank you, Pastor Terry, for all you’ve done for our community and for the First Presbyterian Church,” she said.
Morse thanked the congregation for the honor when he accepted the plaque.
“You’ve been such a wonderful part of my life, Martha’s life and the life of my family,” he said.
“You all are very special to me. And I am so grateful and I will always have you in my heart and pray for you as you continue your journey in faith and hope. God bless you all.”
The Morses have served churches in California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Pastor Morse retired in 2012 after 40 years in the ministry.
“Ministry is a challenge,” he said. “But it’s also a wonderful opportunity to enjoy God’s people.”

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