“[Marriage] is described by feelings you don’t have words for…” Bert and Elke Drop  have been married for four years and continue to enjoy waking up next to each other and drinking their morning cup of coffee together even as they acknowledge it can be tough to start a new life together after both losing spouses they held (and still hold) dear to them. Bert is an easy going man of class and style, learner of many things, handyman, double reed bassoonist, speaker of four different languages, creative embroidery genius, father, and grandfather. Elke is a loyal and dedicated mother and grandmother, organizer, self-motivated fixer, gardener, lover of maps and pizza, and a patient and warm soul who isn’t afraid to dwell in feelings. Elke is an IV therapy nurse and Bert is an anesthesiologist who thinks there is nothing more important than relieving pain from someone’s life when you can. For Elke, faith has been something that has deepened over the years as she has felt so taken care of in the worst of circumstances. While Bert thinks similarly, he also finds it complicated to hold this alongside ideas of hope when he is constantly surrounded by people who are dealing with the realities of difficult diagnoses. Both are immigrants to America (Elke from Germany and Bert from the Netherlands) and that identity has greatly shaped their lives and how they think of community. They were particularly drawn to St. Paul a year and a half ago by the welcoming leaders, experiencing communion in the round and the Moravian star that is lit during Christmas. You’ll most often find Bert and Elke at the 8:30 service and they’d be more than delighted to say hello to you and talk about their love of glorious organ music as they seek to continue to get to know the St. Paul community.