Rev. Dr. Sid Haugen was first elected May 5, 2014 as bishop by voting members of the Saskatchewan Synod Convention. He was re-elected for a six-year term in 2018.
The following is Sid’s brief personal story that he shared at his ordination as Bishop of the Saskatchewan Synod, Sept 11, 2014.
A Bit of My Story
Let me take this moment to tell a bit of my story. It is a religious story, as you might expect, but like most religious stories, it is told in the simple words of everyday things.
Prairie. I am Saskatchewan born and—mostly raised here as well. I was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to parents George and Kerna Haugen (Gjesdal). My parents farmed just outside of Birch Hills, moving later to a poultry farm in the Okanagan valley as I was going into my teens. I returned to Saskatchewan for high school at LCBI, our church school in Outlook, Saskatchewan, and received my first degree at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.
Farmwork. I grew up on the farm. Life on the farm was marked by “chores”: in the early morning carrying feed in 5 gallon buckets; in the afternoon, candling and grading eggs in the dark while my father set them into cartons—all the while listening to the radio and talking about, ‘life, the universe and everything’. How I would love to have one of those afternoons back today!
Family: I married Kathy Hagen from . . . Hagen, Saskatchewan. We have been blessed with three children, and double blessed with their spouses and triple blessed with eight grandchildren. Kathy is my best friend, the love of my life, and becomes more of both with each passing year.
Sport: Through the years I have played all sorts of sports: baseball, fastball, football, curling, golf, and soccer (finally retiring from men’s league soccer last summer). I have also coached a number of sports, mainly soccer since moving to Regina. I love how coaching team sport is always about finding ways for players of very different abilities to find success, to contribute, to put team in front of self and in that sacrifice to find the greatest satisfaction.
Learning: My mother was my first and best teacher. Love of learning meant school was a good place for me—although recess was always (and still is!) my favorite subject. In between recesses, I received a BA from the University of Saskatchewan and an MDiv from Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon. Later on, my fascination with meaning in Biblical narrative led to an MA, then a PhD from the University of Calgary. Since receiving my doctorate I have taught part time as a sessional lecturer at the Luther College (University of Regina) for the last ten years, and for several years at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon.
Faith: As a young person growing up in family and in faith community, I found myself deeply grounded in the Gospel. I found that I had a great passion for the stories of Jesus: the prodigal son, the good Samaritan, the five loaves and two fish. The stories were so much about life: about unconditional love, about breaking the boundaries of prejudice, about faith in the midst of want. I found myself also passionate in a different way, about the ways I saw the Gospel of Jesus getting lost in the church’s frequent heavy words of judgment directed against people in situations for which Jesus would surely have demonstrated compassion. It was this passion, perhaps both the positive and the negative, that led me to Seminary, and the calling to parish ministry.
Pastor: I served three parishes in 33 years as a parish pastor. The first was a little rural parish in northern Alberta: Ryley and Holden. We were young. Our children were born there. The faith community surrounded us with love. The second was a young church in Calgary, Prince of Faith Lutheran. In that bubble of time our faith community had 150 children in Sunday school, 25 youth in the youth group. The noise on a Sunday morning was crazy—and wonderful. The third call was to Our Savior’s Lutheran, Regina, where I served for 18 years—for the last 10 years, Central Lutheran came into the call in what still looks and feels like a two point urban parish. What a fine call it was: fine worship; deep adventuresome, enthusiastic learners in confirmation, in youth, in adult class; a great willingness and ability to serve. Indeed, it was a hard call to leave when Synod Convention elected me as bishop last May.
That’s “a bit” of my story. I hope, someday, to sit down with you and hear a bit of your faith story as we walk this road together.