At St. Philip the Deacon since: 1984
What is your faith background? Jerry: I was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod in Scribner, Nebraska. I remained a member of that church until I left for college and started a career. Bonnie: I was baptized and confirmed a Methodist in a small country church in Oakland, Nebraska. My parents were very active in this small church and I remember each Sunday morning we sang “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Both: We were married in the Methodist church, both of our boys were baptized in a Methodist church; and our oldest son, Brad, was also confirmed in a Methodist church. However, when we moved to Minnesota, we found St. Philip the Deacon. Bonnie was confused by the liturgy on our first visit but Jerry felt right at home and our youngest son, Jim (at that time in the 5th grade and ready to start Confirmation classes somewhere) said, “this is where all my friends are.” That prompted us to join St. Philip the Deacon.
What is your professional background and experience? Jerry: My career was always in the food industry. During my 35-year career we moved numerous times. Our final move was to Plymouth, MN from Littleton, Colorado. I have now retired and enjoy a new chapter in our lives. Bonnie: I began my professional career as a teacher. A number of years later, I switched gears and went into sales training as a profession. I too am now retired and we enjoy traveling to see our five grandchildren, none of whom live close to us.
How are you involved at St. Phillip? Jerry: My involvement started with a men’s group that met early in the morning during the week. Then came the capital funds appeal to build a new sanctuary and classrooms. That first appeal led to our participation in similar appeals every three years. Bonnie and I have participated in each in a number of ways. Ushering and serving communion have been another service that both Bonnie and I have helped with for a number of years. There are also numerous activities that come up during the year that allow me to participate in individual events based on specific current needs. Since retiring my new activity is helping with financial counting. Bonnie: Crossways Bible Study, Women’s Circle, Alpha Dinners, Confirmation, Prayer Partners, Families Moving Forward, and Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners are just some of the activities I enjoy or have enjoyed in the past. Both: We participate in two groups focused on fellowship and fun. One is the Deacon Duffers, a very informal golf league for all to join. The second group, Deacon Diners, is centered around dining with a small groups. Both have offered up the opportunity to meet new members and enjoy wonderful experiences.
What is something you love about St. Philip the Deacon? Jerry: There are two things that have always been very near and dear to my walk of faith. First, each of the pastors at St. Philip always offer a unique ability to tell God’s story—coupled with the availability of several types of services and times that fit our needs. Also important to me is another element of the church—its members. The feeling of being equal with all who walk into our church, the feeling that we all share in the mission and goals of this church, the feeling of sharing outward while still supporting the work within our four walls.
Have you ever been surprised by God? If so, how? Bonnie: Yes, God has great powers. Life doesn’t always make sense but we must remember that we were made by God and for God. I know I can be a better person if I learn to love God more each day.