Thursday, September 12, 2013

the next chapter for the Gaertners

"FAITH" - the name of our church for the last 12 1/2 years

  •  The church we came to when Elizabeth was in 6th grade and Philip in 1st grade. 
  • The church we came to with so many smiling, loving faces that welcomed us with open arms.
  • Those people became our friends.
  • These are the brothers and sisters who we shared the pews with, worshipped our Lord and sang praises.  Celebrating weddings and comforting families that had a loved one who entered the gates of heaven.
  • The 10 ladies that I became so close to as we practiced hand bells on Monday nights.  We nicked named ourselves "The Ding-a-Lings."
  • We lived in the tiny parsonage and ended up purchasing the home. 
  • Four years later we bought a home closer to church.
  • We were blessed to be able to send our children to the Lutheran grade school and high school in our city.
  • Many potlucks and entertaining groups in our home.
  • The church that my husband was a faithful servant, preaching, counseling, meetings, bible classes, teaching, enjoying the youth and taking trips with them. 
  • Four years ago Joel started a ministry the 2nd Thursday of the month called "Worship at the Cross. "  It is a simplified church service for the developmentally challenged.  The group homes bring the residences and we worship with them, sing, pray and of course have treats for them afterwards.  We have an amazing group of volunteers that help keep this going each month !!! 

This is where the new chapter begins.  Joel received a call three weeks ago to be the National Director of  Jesus Cares Ministries. It is part of the Lutheran Home in Belle Plaine MN.  He will travel, promote JCM and help Churches get their own program set up to help the people in their community.  His excitement can not even be described in words.  He is ready to start now.  He will announce his decision to our congregation tonight.  He has three more services this weekend to make this announcement.  I know it will not be easy for him but he knows  the Lord would like him taking care of this program.

Of course the BIG question from many people during these past few weeks will you move to MN.  As of right now, no.  There are many things to sort out and getting a few different ideas from several people on where they think we should live.  We still stay in FDL and see how it works for awhile.

The next question is what does Phil think of this?  Phil is being such a 20 year old adult about this.  He is excited for his dad and his new ministry. ( So awesome to watch your child grow up and get mature in the process.) He did inform us that if we did have to move he would not be coming.  FDL is my home, my friends are here and my job. Gulp from me.  I never would expect him to uproot and start over.  He is an adult.  Hard for me sometimes because I still think of him as my little boy.

We feel blessed to be able to say we served at Faith in FDL.  We look forward to see the new plans the Lord has for us and the new ways we can serve him.

October 6th will be Joel's last Sunday. 

Please keep our family in your prayers as we go through this difficult process of saying good-bye to our "FAITH" family. 

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


  1. Oh LuAnn, I am beyond excited for this opportunity for Joel and for you. I know God has great things for the both of you in this new ministry. my prayers are with you as you say goodbye!

  2. LuAnn- Faith has been soo blessed by you and Pastor! I will never forget how wonderful Pastor was when Mom went to Heaven. He got to the hospice home before I did when she died, even though it was after midnight. I'm sure that God will continue to use the both of you to bless his work in this new adventure. You will definitely be missed!

  3. What an exciting change in your lives. Of course change can be pretty scarey, but God will take care of you. Praying for you all!


Blessings on Your Day !!!!

Blog Archive