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Pastor Jim & Deacon Karen Move into Full Retirement

Dear Friends in Christ, October 1, 2020

Greetings to you in the name of our every present Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!

I think it is safe to say that our world has been turned upside down since March 15th of this year! When we gathered for our Parish Annual meeting on January 26th at Trinity Lutheran Church no one could have seen what was coming. We had agreed to a new Covenant in regards to our partnership in ministry for 2020. Significant adjustments were agreed on in regard to Pastor & Deacon services. We (Pastor Jim & Deacon Karen) would be present for serving Fountain Grace Trinity Lutheran Parish Sunday through Wednesday with Thursday – Saturday being time away. Council & congregation members were being asked to step up and take on some of the pastor & deacon responsibilities. Plans were announced for our retirement celebration on the weekend of February 14-16th. It was an exciting & somewhat scary time as we in faith & hoped stepped into this new reality. And then COVID-19 happened.

These last 6 months have been filled with anxiety and uncertainty along the way. It was as though all our plans were being thrown out the window with nothing in its place. How would the proclamation of the gospel happen in this uncertain reality? But the Spirit of God got to work and things we had been talking about for years started to take shape:

*A new website was created and launched.

*I learned how to post on the website’s blog.

*Worship services were pre-recorded and posted on the website & Facebook & DVD delivered.

*WEBS material was delivered to families during Holy Week & Vacation Bible School took place online with the creative help of Sugar Creek.

*Senior Meals were delivered every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday of most weeks.

*The Food Pantry continued to serve the needs of families with a few adjustments because of COVID-19

*In time we held our first Parking Lot Worship & are now Livestreaming worship from Grace.

*Staff along with council members and confirmation families have held numerous zoom gatherings with plans in the works for Zoom WEBS every Wednesday evening.

The Spirit of God has been at work brining us together in ways we had not even dreamed of in the past.

But after much prayer & conversation with family & friends it is our decision to move on into full retirement. This decision is influenced by personal health concerns & a desire to have more time with family. Our last Sunday will be November 1st with our final move taking place on the 15th of November. We are thankful for the partnership in ministry we have enjoyed with you these last years. God has helped us discover the joy of being in mission & ministry together. We have faced sorrows, challenges & joys together all with our focus on being faithful servants of Jesus Christ. Our new address will be: Pastor Jim & Deacon Karen Gerth 700 S Dousman St Apt 106 Prairie du Chien, WI 53821

In Christ,

Pastor Jim & Deacon Karen Gerth

“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3-6

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Wednesday - 6:00 p.m. - Grace Council Meeting Thursday - 1:00 p.m. - Regular Food Pantry distribution Friday and Saturday - LAST WEEKEND - Garage Sale Sunday, 10:10 a.m. - Communion Worship at Grace

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Sorry to hear you are leaving as I really enjoyed your sermons and the kindness of you and Karen but understand the need for family and ones health. Thank you both and good luck in your new adventure. Sonia Murphy

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