Deacon Pat Derry, Direct
or of Children and Family Faith Formation, has decided to leave Gloria Dei on September 30th for health reasons.
We give thanks for her eight years of service to our children and families. During her tenure, she deepened and expanded our family ministry by creating GAPP, a small-group/large-group model of faith formation for 5th and 6th graders; transformed the third floor into the "Water Tower," a rotational model of Sunday School; initiated our partnership with Waverly Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in rural Southwest Minnesota;
re-energized Vacation Bible School
; and loved our children with all her heart. She has blessed us with her enthusiasm, creativity, and effervescent joy.
September 30th will be Pat's last Sunday with us. Join us for worship as we give thanks for her service with us. A special time for goodbyes with children and families will be at 9:30 a.m. in their Sunday school rooms. Parents are invited to join their children for Sunday school that day. A reception for the whole congregation will also be held that morning.
Families are invited to a meeting with our faith formation team and the pastors on September 9th at 9:30 a.m. during the Sunday school hour to share perspectives and dreams for our children's ministry. If you wish, use this
to provide feedback on and suggestions for Gloria Dei's children's ministry.
Following the feedback, Gloria Dei will form a search committee, post the position, and begin the search for Pat's replacement. Our goal is to welcome a new director before Christmas. Teleen Saunders has agreed to return to serve as Interim Director until the new Director is found. If you have any questions or insights, please speak with
. The following is a letter from Pat:
Dear friends at Gloria Dei,
As most of you know, I suddenly became ill with Meniere's disease and PPPD (Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness) in January 2016. I was unable to work for 16 months, before I was allowed to return to Gloria Dei in May of 2017. I have been back over a full year now. Unfortunately, I can no longer do what my position as Director of Children's Ministry requires of me, and my Mayo Clinic physician has advised me to stop working. I am saddened by this, yet I realize that it is necessary.
I have loved my work with children and families at Gloria Dei! The people of our congregation are wonderful and my colleagues are exceptional. Gloria Dei has helped me to grow in many ways, and it has been a gift to be part of this church family. However, I am excited to see how God will lead me, as I make room for the rest of my life.
As we part ways at the end of September, I pray God will keep you in God's care and draw your hearts ever closer to the heart of Christ.
My love goes with you,