Updates on Pastor Jim Norlie

July 8th, 2019

A memorial service for Pastor Jim Norlie has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 9th at 3:00 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church (435 NW 21st Street, Corvallis, Oregon)

A reception will follow at Grace in Ronnenkamp Hall. A private interment will precede the service.

If unable to attend the service but interested in making a contribution in Pr. Jim’s memory, it has been requested that memorial contributions be made to Luther House (Lutheran Campus Ministry at Oregon State University) online or mail to Luther House, 211 NW 23rd St, Corvallis, OR 97330, or to Heifer International online or mail to Heifer International, Attn: Donor Services, PO Box 8058, Little Rock, AR 72203

July 3rd, 2019

Hello, dear friends,

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the news that our dear friend, pastor, and brother in Christ, Jim Norlie, succumbed to brain cancer this morning. Below is the official announcement we received from his congregation, Grace Lutheran Church in Corvallis. May God comfort us in these days.

Pastor Mike Ostrom

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Pastor Jim Norlie died early this morning, July 3, 2019. Jim passed quietly at home, in Albany, OR, attended by his husband, Steve Bender, and the hospice nurse.

Jim was the Campus Pastor Emeritus at Lutheran Campus Ministry at Oregon State University, in Corvallis, OR. He had been a member of Grace Lutheran in Corvallis since 1995. During his years of ministry, both here in Corvallis and before, he has touched many lives and hearts. Blessed be the memory of Pastor James Lowell Norlie.

Please keep Steve, Jim’s mother, two sisters, and family in your prayers at this time of loss.

Plans for his funeral are just beginning; we will keep you notified as they evolve. The family is looking at something at Grace Lutheran Church in Corvallis sooner rather than later.

June 13th, 2019

We received word that Jim Norlie is now receiving hospice care. Hospice is not a sign of the end, but rather a step along the way of our journey. The resources of hospice will be of great benefit to Jim and his husband, Steve Bender. They plan to remain in their apartment at Bonaventure in Albany, Oregon, rather than go to another location.

March 1st, 2019

Last week, we received the below update on Jim Norlie from Jim’s caregiver and spouse, Steve Bender. We wish to pass it on to you and also to pass on the news that Jim was honored “in absentia” at last Sunday’s Lutherfest. It was announced at that time that the title of Campus Pastor Emeritus had been officially conferred upon him. This announcement was accompanied by pictures of Jim receiving his certificate and the accolades which came with it. We are thrilled to join in celebrating this honor with Pr. Jim.

Jim was discharged Tuesday, February 19th, following a five-week period of hospitalization and inpatient rehabilitation. It is only because of his determination, spirit, and hard work during this terrible time that we are able to live together again! Jim is amazing and inspires me in more ways than I could ever express.

During his hospitalization, however, we realized that our former home is not the place for us right now. So instead, we have moved into an assisted living facility in Albany. We chose Albany to be closer to friends and doctors. We now have a nice one-bedroom apartment at the Bonaventure here. This allows us to live together and allows Jim to receive the care he needs. He is continuing physical and occupational therapy and gaining his strength back. His doctor has been very impressed with his progress.

Please just give me a call if you would like to visit and I will let you know of a good time that would work for him.

Thank you,

P.S. If you would like to give a gift to Luther House in honor of Jim’s newly bestowed status as Campus Pastor Emeritus, you may send your gift directly to Luther House at 211 NW 23rd St., Corvallis, OR or donate through the secure “Donate” link on our website. Use the “Other” fund option noting In Honor of Campus Pastor Emeritus Jim Norlie in the comments box.

November 21st, 2018

Pastor Jim continues to appreciate your messages and support but is unable to reply directly at this time. He recently started a new treatment which should be very beneficial but which requires many adjustments in the daily routine. These have made it difficult to keep up with well wishes and information requests. Please, therefore, do not be upset if you do not hear back from him at this time.

October 25th, 2018

The results of Pastor Jim Norlie’s initial six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy have been evaluated. We are pleased to report that his doctor felt the goals of the treatment were successful. Pastor Jim will now continue with chemotherapy treatment that he reports comes in an “easy to swallow pill form.” He is grateful for improving health and continued support towards that goal.

October 5th, 2018

Pastor Jim Norlie's six weeks of radiation treatment was completed on Wednesday, September 26th. We rejoice with Jim that this phase of his treatment has ended. We are also pleased to report that he suffered no serious side effects from the treatment received thus far other than fatigue. After a period of respite, he will be scheduled for an MRI for further evaluation to determine what approach might be taken for future treatment.

Jim continues to be very grateful for prayers on his behalf and for cards and well wishes he has received since his diagnosis, surgery and treatment. Just a reminder that you may drop off a card for Jim at Grace Lutheran or mail it to us at 435 NW 21st Street, and we will forward it to him.

September 12th, 2018

A letter from Rev. Jim Norlie...

Dear friends,

I continue to be humbled, honored, and gladdened by your many prayers, messages of support, gestures of kindness, and words of hope in these days of medical surprises for me and Steve. We are so grateful for you who are walking this journey toward restored health with us.

Due to increasing fatigue from radiation therapy and recovery from surgery, it will be a while before I will have the energy to communicate with you directly. However, I’m holding you all in prayer. In fact, a new prayer practice for me has been to use the 20-minutes of radiation treatment holding an olive wood cross from Israel as I pray for any and all I know are in need. It’s been very meaningful to me to have this quiet devotional time.

This past Wednesday I crossed the halfway point of radiation and chemo therapy treatments; three weeks down, three weeks to go. When that’s done an MRI will indicate what, if any, next steps are required. Fortunately, the worst side effect from treatment has been significant fatigue. Naps are my new norm. So far I’ve tolerated the chemotherapy without getting sick. Alleluia!

I have great confidence in my medical team, some of whom see me every other therapy session. If you’re so inclined, please send up prayers for fabulous, compassionate, smart, caring, gentle, and wise doctors, surgeons, nurses, CNAs, technicians, social workers, and others who wait with, watch over, and tend the sick wherever they are. Bless them one and all.

As I gain strength and return to a more normal rhythm I look forward to having personal conversations with all those who’ve sent me/us good wishes, cards and notes of support, and beautifully composed emails. Thank you for your patience and understanding that I need to do this more slowly than normal. I will cherish spending personal time with each and all as I’m able in God’s good time.

Thank you one and all. The way forward is easier because of you.

With Grace and Gratitude to God,

Pr. Jim

September 6th, 2018

Pastor Jim is now half-way through his chemotherapy and radiation treatment and has suffered no major side effects. He does report being temporarily fatigued following his radiation sessions. He has also been approved for home health care so will be receiving some physical and occupational therapy at home beginning this week. Overall he is doing exceptionally well considering what he has been through and continues to manage.

August 20th, 2018

Pastor Jim returned home on August 15th after recuperating from brain surgery. He has begun chemotherapy and radiation treatments. As you can imagine these treatments are intense and tiring. Accordingly, Jim does not wish to receive visitors at this time. He does, however, appreciate receiving cards and short notes.

If you wish to send a greeting to Jim, please mail them in c/o Grace Lutheran Church, 435 NW 21st St., Corvallis, OR 97330. Pastors Wendell Hendershott and Netsie Griffith will see to it that he receives them.

Jim wants us to know that he is deeply touched and encouraged by all the warm greetings he has received so far.