Synod Minister, Pr. Naomi Mahler, 56, of Willmar, died in faith, October 21st at her home in Willmar with the steadfast love and support of her husband, Todd, and daughters, Grace and Sofia by her side. Her funeral was held on Friday, November 3rd at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar.

Please continue to hold Todd, Grace, and Sofia, and all of Naomi's family and friends in our prayers as they grieve, mourn, remember and give thanks to God for the promises we know in Christ Jesus.

Click here to view the livestream of Pr. Naomi’s funeral. Click here to read Bp. Dee Pederson’s Sermon.

Dear friends,
A message from Pr. Naomi Mahler's family-

It is with great sadness, hope, gratitude, and many other emotions that Grace, Sofia, and Todd share with you that our loving and wonderful mother and wife, Pastor Naomi Mahler, died in faith Saturday evening, October 21st 2023.   With the steadfast support and guidance of Hospice, we were able to care for her at home until the end.

Visitation and memorial service arrangements are detailed at the end of this message.

Through these past months, Naomi maintained her faith and courage.  Yes, she had times of anger, doubt, and depression, but if you knew Naomi, you know that she would not wallow in those feelings for long and continued to love and to be loved by others.

While our sorrow is great, we are very grateful to all who have followed us on Caring Bridge, sent texts and cards, posted on Facebook, given phone calls, donated gifts, and more.  We have not kept a good record of the gifts we have received, but please know that we are very thankful for them.

We are well aware that all of you have had painful losses and difficult journeys in your lives too, and some of you have shared those with us.  We are honored and humbled that you have been with us in this part of our journey.

May we all continue to follow the counsel of the Apostle Paul:  Help carry one another's burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2

We want to recommend to you the title of a devotional book Naomi had been using this year and which our family has been sharing this past month: “Uplift: A Little Book of God’s Promises to Give Hope and Uplift Your Soul” by Natalia Terfa.  We find much comfort in the daily readings and wanted to let you know about it.

Visitation will be Thursday, November 2nd at the Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home in Willmar, MN 4:00-7:00 pm.

A memorial service will be held for Naomi on Friday,  November 3rd at 2:00 pm at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar. Rostered ministers are invited to gather in Room 102 (the very large room to your left as you enter Vinje). Those who desire to vest should do so with the knowledge that red will be the proper liturgical color. All ministers will be seated ten minutes prior to the start of the service in a designated area.

Members of the West Central Singers will share music.  Former Nordic, National Lutheran, and other choir members who will be in attendance are invited to join them.  Please contact Naomi Baker, church musician of Calvary Lutheran, Willmar at [email protected]  for details.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the “Pastor Naomi Mahler Endowment Fund” at Green Lake Lutheran Ministries (GLLM).   This is something Naomi arranged with the GLLM administration and will be used to support the ministries there.  You can do this by visiting the website. Under the field to choose an amount, there is a spot titled "Designate Your Donation" - there is an option for the endowment fund.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4

Thank you all so much!   You are among God’s “Countless Gifts of Love” to us.
Grace, Sofia, and Todd

Obituary and more information on clergy procession will be coming soon.

Naomi Mahler

Some days, the grief around the world and grief close to home collide. And hearts break. We mourn the passing of our dear colleague and Synod Minister, Pr. Naomi Mahler. Pr. Naomi joined our staff last November. In this brief time, she has brought wisdom, joy, clarity, questions, encouragement, energy, spark, and vision to all aspects of her work as Synod Minister. We grieve and miss her dearly. I ask your prayers for comfort and strength for her husband, Todd, and daughters, Sofia & Grace, as they experience such a deep loss.

In the meantime, we pray:
Eternal God, you gave Naomi a new birth in baptism and entrusted her to us to know and to love. This time was too short. We thank you for the life we were able to share together and now pray for grace to entrust her to your eternal keeping. Sustain and comfort Todd, Grace, and Sofia, and all of Naomi's family and friends. Bring us all to that day when we will stand in your presence with all your saints in light eternal; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

+Bishop Dee Pederson and the synod staff

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