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Celebrating passion to do whatever God calls

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communication, Dakotas UMC

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Bishop Laurie Haller delivers the message, "Whatever" at the Celebration of Life in Ministry Service. Photos by jlynn studioes.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. 10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.” Philippians 4:4-14 (NRSV

Bishop Laurie Haller shared a message of discovering a passion for doing whatever God calls you to do.  A commitment to go wherever God calls and do whatever. Based on the scripture from Philippians, the message was part of the Celebration of Life in Ministry Service, held June 11, 2021, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

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Remembering those who have died.

“The key to unlocking this scripture is ‘whatever.’ Whatever is just, think about it, then do it. Do you see? There’s this cutting edge to contentment and peace. It’s not selfish or inner-focused. The wind blows fiercely, and we can’t be comfortable for too long before we are prodded into action by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lit a fire under Jesus’ followers on the day of Pentecost and gave them the power to do whatever it took to share the gospel,” said Bishop Haller.

Bishop Haller said that ministry is not easy. She shared that we all tend to worry too much. Bishop Laurie shared the memories of both of her grandmothers’ deep faith that brought peace to their hearts.

“They had a faith that ran very deep and an inner peace that sustained them through dark times. They loved Jesus and were content with whatever they had. By contrast, you and I worry about so much,” she said.

Haller encouraged those entering a new stage in their ministry journey and everyone listening to lean into their call to ministry, whatever that might look like.

“God has given you the gifts that you need for ministry for such a time as this,” Haller said. “It’s a time of uncertainty and turmoil, a time when we’re not sure how everything is going to turn out with The United Methodist Church. You are proclaiming, whatever the circumstances, here I am, Lord. Send me!”

During the service, the following persons were remembered, recognized, and celebrated:

Those Who Have Died

Reverend Norman Winkelman (November 6, 2020)
Reverend Donald Greenough (December 1, 2020)
Reverend Elizabeth Conrad Smart (December 7, 2020)
Reverend Steven Olson (December 21, 2020)
Reverend Raymond Earl Stucke (February 25, 2021)
Reverend Gustav Van Tassel (April 23, 2021)

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Bishop Haller addresses the three ordinands.

Clergy Spouses
Joan Teichmann, widow of Reverend Richard Teichmann (October 2, 2020)
Grace Moe, spouse of Reverend Peter Moe (November 3, 2020)
Marian Gabel, widow of Reverend Glen Gabel (November 12, 2020)
Yoko Tsukamoto, widow of Reverend Minoru Tsukamoto (November 22, 2020)
Darlene Finney, widow of Reverend Charles Finney (November 25, 2020 )
Vella Kaye Lord, widow of Reverend Glenn Lord (January 27, 2021)
Judith Katter, spouse of Reverend John Katter (February 4, 2021)
Phyllis Erdmann, widow of Reverend Edgar Walter Erdmann (March 28, 2021)
Doris Vos, widow of Reverend James Vos (May 4, 2021)

Laity / Conference Staff
Robert Lower (March 27, 2021)

The Retirement Class
Reverend Kenneth Ballard
Reverend David Motta
Reverend Jeffrey Neuberger
Reverend Richard Pittenger
Reverend Rodney Tkach

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Rodney Knock is commissioned as an elder.

Comissioned as elders
Quaya Rae Ackerman
Julie Han Gregg
Rodney J. Knock
Michele Vallery Slott

Ordained as elders
Autumn Krueger
Seth LaBounty
Valerie Hummel LaBounty

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Recognition of licensed local pastors.

Newly appointed licensed local pastors
John Anderson, serving Spirit of Faith at Woonsocket
Robert Blackburn, serving Langdon
Tiana Bohn, serving Milnor
Anna Carlson, serving Washburn and Center
Tia Felberg, serving De Smet and Iroquois
Kimberly Hipple, serving Beach UMC at Howard
Barbara Krumm, serving Ellendale and Ashley
Amber Laffey, serving Flandreau
Mary Morgan, serving Sterling and White
Tiffany Ortman, serving in Extension
Taryn Ragels, serving Fusion at Mitchell
Matt Scherbenske, serving Vincent UMC at Minot
Josh Willprecht, serving Brandon Celebration

Licensed local pastors completing educational requirements
Jason Christensen
Ken Mund
Taryn Ragels
Derek Runge
Teresa Whetsel


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000