Recently, St. Andrew’s member Bob Jasper posted a photo of this dime in our Contemplative Photography Facebook group. “I found a dime on the ground in Festival parking lot this morning. Over the past 30 years, I’ve found dozens of them. I found each one at a spiritually significant time or place. There is a long story behind them. Finding them always brightens my day. This one is dated 1974-the year we moved to MN and joined St. Andrew’s.” We caught up with Bob and asked him to share a bit more about the dime, his memories and this moment as a member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.

Can you tell me a little more about what brought you to St. Andrew’s?
My wife and I had just moved to Minnesota in April of 1974 and to the White Bear Lake area that fall. We were looking for a church home and saw an ad for St. Andrew’s in the local newspaper, so we decided to check it out. The pastor, Roger Eigenfeld,-(the only pastor at that time), greeted us with a big, welcoming smile. He showed us around and made us feel at home.

Many members greeted us warmly. Two families, in particular, welcomed us into their hearts and homes, the Sutherlands and the Bergs. We became good friends with them and remain so to this day (the Bergs, sadly, are no longer with us).

We liked the fact that St. Andrew’s had Sunday School at the same hours as the worship services. We could worship while our daughter attended Sunday School. Our son, age 2, stayed in the nursery with Corry Greeder, whom we still see in church. We were in the small church on Mahtomedi Avenue back then. We liked the small, friendly atmosphere and felt right at home there from day one.

What’s changed since those first days? What has remained the same?
The size, of course, has changed immensely. We’ve gone from one small building to three large ones on a sprawling campus. We’ve gone from one pastor and a church secretary to seven pastors, an intern and a staff of what, 100-plus? Back then we had maybe 300 worshiping in two services on a good Sunday. Today we have around 2,500 or more worshiping in 5 services each weekend plus the Depot. However, the friendliness remains (I hope visitors today feel as welcome as we did 46 years ago).

How many dimes do you estimate you’ve collected over the years?
Probably 40 or 50. I’ve lost track. I kept them in a small Ziploc for many years but added them to my penny bank a couple of years ago.

Can you  tell me a little more about how that started?
On a special day, July 10th, 18 years ago, I found two dimes in a parking lot. Then, my wife and I went out for lunch at Lake Elmo Inn to celebrate. When the waitress brought our change, a coin fell on the floor and I crawled under the table to retrieve it. You guessed it; the coin was a dime. Three dimes in one day got my attention. 10 cents on the 10th of July, my special day. After that I found dimes on the floor of Maplewood Mall while walking, under a bench in Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, on the North Shore while sitting on a log looking out over the lake, and often when getting into or out of my car at Maplewood Mall. I found one in the middle of the gym in the Youth and Sports Center. I was on the custodial staff back then (c. 2006) and was sweeping the gym floor one night. There in the lint was a dime. Invariably, when I find one I am thinking good thoughts about someone or something and am in a good spot spiritually. I take them as God’s way of winking at me; giving me a little pat on the back; encouraging me to keep on with what I’m doing.

Anything else you’d like to share about you, your family or St. Andrew’s?
With the COVID-19 lockdown, we’ve had a chance to reflect on how much St. Andrew’s means to us. Almost all of our friends are people we’ve met at or through St. Andrew’s. Most of our activities over the years have been with small groups or classes we’ve taken at St. Andrew’s.  Both our kids grew up and were confirmed at St. Andrew’s. It has been a great church home for us. We have a niche reserved in the columbarium, so we will be a part of St. Andrew’s for many years to come.

For more information on becoming a member of St. Andrew’s contact Deacon Stephanie Anderson. For information on our contemplative photography group online, contact Pastor Brian Norsman or click here.