Old Monroe, Missouri – “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few” – Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Former Old Monroe resident Michael Kasevich has known this truth since becoming a layperson in 1991. In honor of his final labors in ministry and his efforts to call others into the harvest, St. Paul’s UCOC (United Church of Christ) members hosted a farewell banquet for him in May.
The luncheon celebrated 14 years of ministering to the church and the greater community. In 2008, Kasevich and his wife, Linda, moved to Old Monroe after conducting a national religious job search. Although he has been a preacher since 1991, Kasevich did not become an ordained minister until 2008, the same year he began working at Old Monroe.
With a master’s degree in theology from Bangor Theological Seminary in Maine, Kasevich’s major studies were in understanding the written precepts of God; however, his efforts to improve the community around him were not only theological but also practical. Kasevich believed in strengthening religious fervor especially in rural communities, an environment in which he thrived.
According to a press release from the UCOC of St. Paul, “[Kasevich’s} Strong advocacy of community involvement, doing good works, ministering to the hopeless, caring for the sick and shut-ins, providing food to the hungry, speaking up for those who cannot do for themselves and bringing forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ into this community [was] really inspiring.
The retreat celebration began in the UCOC building at Old Monroe St. Paul and included a potluck-style lunch, a lavishly designed personalized cake, and time for prayer, visitation, and more. Expressing gratitude for Kasevich’s efforts, the congregation presented him with a plaque that read, “Thank you for the difference you have made in the lives of so many pastors, teachers, and friends.” Good retirement!”
After completing his ministerial service in Lincoln County, Kasevich is in the process of moving to Virginia, where he plans to “take a break and settle into a new home.” A motorcycle enthusiast, Kasevich looks forward to riding the state’s scenic hills and spending more time with his many children and grandchildren.
Like a true man of cloth, Kasevich’s farewell comment to his family of faith in Lincoln County reads, “God has sent me to a place where his people are faithful and true. It is God’s Country. I thank all my brothers and sisters in ministry who walk the road living and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. May God be with you.”