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Conference attendees recognize, celebrate milestones in ministry

Every person who says ‘yes’ to God has a ‘why’ story,” Bishop Bruce R. Ough told the congregation at the Celebration of Life in Ministry worship service Friday afternoon. “Every person who says ‘yes’ to follow Jesus has a ‘why’ story related to their own Holy Spirit-enabled experience of being forgiven, healed, transformed, redeemed, saved, loved without condition or blessed beyond measure.”

Hundreds of Dakotas United Methodists gathered to remember friends and colleagues who have died over the past year, honor retiring clergy, and celebrate newly licensed local pastors, those being commissioned and ordained, and those from other denominations being recognized for the work of an elder.
John 15, Bishop Ough reminded people, is a portion of Jesus’ farewell address to his disciples. He was preparing them for his death, resurrection, and ascension. He was going away. And he knew his mission would be represented by his little handful of disciples. If they fell apart, the cause would be lost—the kingdom movement would come to an end. Jesus wanted to be absolutely clear they knew their why, they knew their identity, they knew their fruit-bearing purpose, they knew they needed to remain united. So he begins teaching them the essential component necessary to maintain their why: “Remain in me, stay united to me, the true vine, and I will remain in you. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will bear much fruit” (John 15:4-5).
This is the antidote to deceiving ourselves that we can do it on our own. Jesus also says, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”


Bishop Ough delivered the inspirational sermon on Jesus' commandment: “Remain in me, stay united to me, the true vine, and I will remain in you. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will bear much fruit” (John 15:4-5).

“Please hear this, please remember this, please hold fast to this: The power and authority of your ‘why’ story is born of allowing Jesus to rule your heart, your ego, your spirit, your preferences, your appetites, and your attitudes,” Ough said. “The power and authority of your holy calling will only be sustained by staying connected to Jesus, unceasingly, in every mountain top experience and every valley of ministry, and you will have both. The power and authority of your mission to bear kingdom fruit will only be visible to a cynical and sin-sick world if you reject the temptations to sit at the right and left hands of power and position, and assume the position of Jesus who came not to be served but to serve, who gave his life so that we might have abundant life.”

Bishop Ough asked those being ordained, commissioned, and recognized as licensed local pastors: “Are you ready to produce grapes? Are you committed to remaining in the true vine?...Come and take the authority and power that comes from making your home in Jesus. Come and say ‘yes’ again in this holy moment to go deep into the very heart of God. Come and embrace your ‘why.’”
Throughout the course of the worship service, these individuals were lifted up in remembrance, recognition, and celebration:
Those Who Have Died

Donald Hadrick (August 20, 2017)
Walter Nelson (October 27, 2017)
Ralph Sjursen (December 6, 2017)
Gene Kroger (May 14, 2018)

Clergy Spouses
James McLaird, spouse of Rev. Donna McLaird (August 31, 2017)
Vivian Greenough, spouse of Rev. Donald Greenough (September 17, 2017)
Nancy Veglahn, widow of Rev. Don Veglahn (October 6, 2017)
Elizabeth Eastin, widow of Rev. Kenneth Eastin (October 7, 2017)
Evelyn Nielsen, widow of Rev. Clifford Nielsen (November 8, 2017)
Phyllis Fike, spouse of Rev. Gerald Fike (December 18, 2017)
Dorothy Grinager Lindbloom, widow of Rev. Lloyd Grinager (April 10, 2018)


Recognition of Local Licensed Pastors

The Retirement Class
Hazel Behrens
Steve Behrens
David Birkeland
Martha Brandt
Bruce Forbes
Eric Grinager
Mina Hall
Brian Hazard
Rebecca "Becky" Holten
Randy Maddox
A. Russell Masartis
Franklin "Frank" McKeehan
Melanie Reiners
Raenelle Sorensen


Jordan Louks was commissioned by Bishop Bruce R. Ough.


Bishop Ough ordained Rev. Travis Krogman a full elder in the Dakotas Conference.

Licensed Local Pastors
Jason Christensen serving White River - Mission
Brandon Dunham serving Groton - Conde
Andy Early serving Bismarck Legacy
Corey Enfield serving Yankton - Gayville - Volin
Andrew Gross serving Madison
Justin Jenness serving Sioux Falls Southern Hills - Flandreau
Zach Kingery serving Wessington Springs
Barbara Krumm serving Ashley
Molly Leger serving Arlington - Lake Preston
Jason Martens serving Salem Unite
Jennifer McDonald serving Minot Vincent
Jeffrey Neuberger serving Park River - Fordville
Brett Roes serving Rapid City Canyon Lake
Derek Runge serving Kimball
Michelle Slott serving Rapid City First
Jeanne Sortland serving Wimbledon - Kensal
Carlisha Steffes serving in Extension Ministry at Avera Heart Hospital
Mike Waldrop serving Aberdeen First
Dan Weigel serving Bismarck Legacy
Joshua Willprecht serving Dell Rapids

*Mike Flowers serving Spirit Lake Ministry Center

* our newest graduate of the Course of Study program

Commissioned as a Provisional Member (Elder)
Jordan Louks, serving Alexandria-Ethan

Ordained for the Work of a Elder
Rev. Travis Krogman, serving the Lyman County Parish


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