Every other year, for the last 6 years, the Toerpe Family has taken the trip from West Bend to Detroit Lakes, MN to visit and care for our dear friends, the Roberts Family. Many of you will remember Pastor Guy, Emily, and family during his time as our Associate Pastor. If you do not know where Detroit Lakes is on a map, pull up Fargo, ND and follow Hwy 10 to the right a few inches; in reality, it is about 45 miles between the two cities.
This trip was something our family was especially looking forward to this year. During the entire trip, about nine hours by minivan, we shared memories from our prior trips and were thinking about new memories we would make this time around. The Roberts family were blessed by purchasing a home on a lake, and all the Toerpe kids were talking about going tubing, fishing, and jumping off the end of the dock to swim. As conversations continued in the van, deeper reflection questions came to the surface regarding what Zane and Jax, Pastor Guy and Emily’s sons, are up to. What are their interests? What sports do they like? Do they have Netflix or watch Dude Perfect on YouTube?
During worship at Zion Lutheran, Pastor Guy’s church, on Sunday morning, during the greeting (which literally goes on for 5 minutes), Pastor Guy asked us to turn around for a surprise. Ten rows behind us are Pastor Dave and Jane Kellerman shaking hands and hugging congregants. The Kellerman’s were also in DL (as the locals like to say), visiting Jane’s sister and extended family. It was at that moment I knew I needed to take a photo to be reminded of this St. John’s Reunion and thankful for the friends and co-workers God has placed in my life.
My family has had the privilege at St. John’s to work, serve, and be taught by both Pastor Guy and Pastor Dave and in turn, Emily and Jane, and it is both exciting and challenging when those friends and co-workers are called to serve the Lord in a different capacity, whether at a new congregation or a new phase in life.
Pastor Guy and Emily are doing very well in Detroit Lakes and send greetings back to St. John’s. Zion Lutheran is growing in membership and stronger in relationships with one another. Zane is starting middle school and enjoying football. Jax will be in Kindergarten and is a very curious boy. Yes, they have Netflix and enjoy watching Dude Perfect on YouTube.
As Summer comes to a close and the new school year is on the horizon, look for opportunities to work, serve and be taught by our pastors, staff, and lay leaders here at St. John’s. Continue to make your worship life a part of who you are everyday, not just what you do once a week, and be thankful for the many gifts the Lord has placed in your life, to include relationships.
In His service,
Craig, Leah, and the Toerpe Family