The Rev. Dan Olson was scheduled to stand in for Pastor Dawn Volpe at Ephraim Moravian Church on June 13: the day of Olson’s 50th ordination anniversary as an Evangelical Lutheran minister. Olson’s wife, Jendean, retired in 2020 from longtime service as the church’s organist and choir director.
As a retirement gift for Jendean, artist Ram Rojas was commissioned to create an oil painting of her sitting at Ephraim’s organ, but the pandemic had delayed its presentation. Rojas – renowned as a book illustrator, muralist and portrait artist – was also the lay reader for the service.
As a surprise for Jendean, Rojas presented the painting to her at the end of the service. Much of the service was a surprise to both Olsons because family members and guests from previous congregations also attended.