Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Tribute to a Friend

We celebrate the life of John Haaland, a long time Bread for the World member in New Mexico, who passed away on April 15 at the age of 94.

In this picture (September 1994), John is second from the left just behind his wife Chris. Also pictured are Bread for the World members Kathy Rockow and Bro. Jim Brown. The photo was taken during a local ceremony celebrating Bread for the World's 20th anniversary.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 25, 2009, 3:00 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1100 Indian School Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102. A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers Memorial contributions may be made to The Storehouse or St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Below are some of excerpts from an obituary that appeared in the Albuquerque Journal.

John was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, since 1948. His interest in children and Christian education led to many years of service as a Sunday school teacher and superintendent. Over the years John served the church at local, regional and national levels with his leadership, time, and commitment.
Ecumenism was also an issue of great interest for John. He served on the New Mexico Conference of Churches Board for 6 years and was a member of the Albuquerque Division of the NM Council of Churches.
He was president of The Storehouse in Albuquerque for 12 years and was instrumental in gaining support and financial resources from the national church for this community resource. John continued serving on the board into his 90's and was made Emeritus Board Member in 2008.

While working with the growing numbers of hungry people in Albuquerque, John realized that changes in our government processes were necessary to improve the lives of the poor. He became an advocate who gave voice to persons with no political voice.
He was instrumental in establishing the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry (now Lutheran Advocacy Ministry) in New Mexico, in 1984. Its goal is to work with legislators and public officials in NM to pass laws to protect and help the sick, mentally ill, elderly, and children of this state; to promote justice and reduce discrimination; and to bring hope for the future to the poor of NM. John worked effectively for years with LOGM as a Board Member and Committee Chair, visiting legislators and writing letters to them to support these goals.

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