Retired Pastors Reunite at Passavant Community for Heartfelt Gathering

Under clear skies at Passavant Community, retired pastors from across Pennsylvania, their companions, and deacons gathered for their annual Retired Pastors Gathering. Marking the ninth gathering, and the first time being held at Passavant, 75 attendees, including 12 retired pastors who live at Passavant, congregated to celebrate their shared journey and experiences of serving God’s call.

Passavant resident Grace Kantz, wife of Rev. Frank Kantz, coordinated the jovial gathering. This year carried unique significance for multiple reasons, as it represented the largest gathering in the event’s history and marked their first in-person reunion in over three years, a pause necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The sun came out and that is beautiful,” Kantz remarked. “Everybody is very excited to be here.”

The event was distinguished by a festive luncheon, during which Bishop Kurt Kusserow of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod delivered remarks to pay tribute to those present and to remember those who had passed away since their previous gathering, including Rev. Lawrence “Larry” Camberg who oversaw several congregations as well served as the assistant to the Bishop of Western Pennsylvania-West Virginia Synod.

“He was one of the two people that started this;” explained Kantz about Camberg’s significance to this gathering.

Kusserow also highlighted noteworthy ordination anniversaries, recognizing individuals who marked 50, 55, and even 60 years of service.

“Thank you for answering that call,” Bishop Kusserow said in his speech to the all the pastors.

As attendees rekindled friendships and shared stories, the Passavant staff went above and beyond to make sure the event was a success.

“A lot of the Pastors have never been here before,” said Kantz. “Thanks to the Passavant staff for helping and making everyone feel comfortable and find their way around.”