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Jan. 1, 1912: Telegram delivered to pulpit

Posted by: Ben Welter under Minnesota History, Religion Updated: January 1, 2012 - 10:25 PM
 
Here’s one more reason to turn off your cellphone in church – especially if you’re the one giving the sermon. From the Minneapolis Tribune:
 

News of Father’s Death
Reaches St. Paul Pastor
in Midst of His Sermon

 
Rev. Carl G. Hagberg, rector of St. Sigfrid’s church, St. Paul, yesterday subdued the sorrow in his own heart, caused by news of the death of his father, while he preached to his congregation on the joys of the New Year.
 
Mr. Hagberg was in the midst of his morning sermon when a telegraph messenger appeared at the door with a message for him. An usher received the message, and thinking it might be important, he interrupted the preacher to give him the message.
 
Hastily opening the envelope, Mr. Hagberg read that his father, Andreas Anderson Hagberg, formerly of St. Paul, had died that morning in Gardner, Mass. Folding the message and tucking it under the Bible, Mr. Hagberg resumed his sermon on the cheering outlook for the New Year. At the close of the sermon he offered a brief prayer and dismissed the congregation with the benediction. It was not until the close of the service that any of the congregation knew of the rector’s great sorrow.

 

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