For 30 years, Jacobson holds Manor services

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 03/11/97.

ďIím here to give the blessing, but Iím the one being blessed,Ē Orville Jacobson, 94, Paynesville, said of his Sunday morning sermons. Jacobson has been delivering the Sunday morning sermons at the Koronis Manor every Sunday morning since 1966. He has missed a few Sundays when he was sick or had surgery, but very few.

Helping Orville with the Sunday morning services are Dave Stumo, Harvey Schaumann and Sharon Johnson. The service usually starts at 10 a.m. or whenever Dave and Harvey get the residents who want to attend, wheeled into the dining room.

Dave opens with a prayer and plays the piano for singing. Harvey, 92, leads the residents in singing until Sharon arrives. After the singing, Harvey reads scriptures that Orville has selected to go along with the sermon. The service usually ends with the Lordís Prayer, the song, ďGod Be with YouĒ and Doxology.

Occasionally there will be special music. The music is provided by Dave, Sharon or Daveís wife, Clarice. Sometimes it is people preparing for a special number at their home church and they use the service at Koronis Manor as practice. Dave and Orville usually pick out the songs together. The songs need to be on facing pages so the residents donít have to turn the pages. Itís Clara Borsheimís job to pick up the song books following the service. She was Harveyís country school teacher. ďThe residents also enjoy it when Harvey talks to them in German,Ē Dave and Orville said. ďHarvey is wonderful with the people.Ē

Orville has a sermon written for every Sunday of the year plus special ones for Christmas, Motherís Day, Fatherís Day and other holidays. The service usually lasts a half hour, but sometimes goes longer. ďNobody has complained yet,Ē Orville said. This past year his daughter, Phyllis Jordahl of Orlando, Fla., placed them all on a computer for her dad. ďI never use the same sermon twice during the same year,Ē Orville said. ďHowever, they all have to be written down or I canít remember what Iíve said one week from another,Ē he joked.

Orville gets the ideas for his sermons from Bible verses or notes out of Bible commentaries. ďOrville is a man of prayer and the Lord gives him his ideas for the sermons,Ē Dave said.

ďWhen I first started, the nurses had coffee ready for us, then weíd help the nurses push the wheelchair residents in for the service. You could say we have a captive audience,Ē Orville said.

The number of residents attending the services vary. The norm is about 30 but the numbers have been up to 40 Orville said. On occasion, 700 Stearns residents walk over for the service when they canít get out to attend their own church.

When asked how he got started doing the Sunday morning services at the Koronis Manor, Orville said 30 years ago, he taught an adult Sunday school class at the Assembly of God Church. When a new pastor came, he wanted to teach the class, feeling the large class was too much for Orville to handle. ďIt was about this time they were looking for someone to do the service at the manor and they asked if I was interested. Liz Olson provided the music at that time and Iíve been doing the services ever since,Ē he added.

Orville farmed north of Grove City until 1985, then moved into Paynesville. Upon retiring and moving to town, Orvilleís friends asked, ďWhat are you going to do in town to keep busy?Ē He replied, ďIím not moving to town to keep busy.Ē

Orville often said he would keep on with the services until he reached 94, then quit. Orville said, ďWell, Iím 94 and still doing the services. However, I have agreed to move in with my daughter, Marilyn Keenan this fall.Ē

Dave and Harvey will be taking over when Orville moves. They are looking for a third volunteer to help. Orville said he enjoys doing the services as he likes being with people, even though most of those attending the services are younger than he is.

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