Pastor Bob Rieke of Blaine United Church of Christ will retire June 30 after 37 years of ordained ministry.
The program and potluck celebrating Pastor Bob’s six year ministry here at Blaine UCC and his ministry calling will be Saturday, June 19 at 4 p.m. at the church, 885 4th Street. The end of authorized ministry worship will be Sunday, June 20 at 10:30 a.m. featuring a meditation by Pastor Bob’s brother, Pastor Dan Rieke of Lord of Life Lutheran in Kennewick. The community is warmly invited to both celebrations.
Pastor Bob was ordained in 1973 in Wisconsin and served parishes in Eau Claire, Hammond, Roberts and Sauk City before returning to the Pacific Northwest and Blaine UCC in 2004.
When asked about the high points of the ordained ministry, Pastor Bob replied, “It has been a joy to serve a living, loving God and to welcome all God’s people to worship, fellowship and service. It has been an honor to be invited into the intimate places of people’s lives to share God’s forgiveness, compassion, amazing grace and love.”
Pastor Bob is deeply appreciative of the support and love given him by his wife of 38 years, Sharon, who also retires this year after 32 years as a para-educator in special needs; his daughter Rachel; grandchildren, Asah and Tatum; son Nathan and wife Larissa; his father (also) Pastor Bob, who died in 2008 and his mother Gladys, now living at Merrill Gardens in Bellingham.
The pastor describes his retirement plans as “continuing to enjoy friends and friendships, to travel and to carry on ministering to all the people of God in yet to be revealed ways by God’s Spirit.”