On December 14, 1997, Linda Hines began working at St. John’s Lutheran Church. As our part-time custodian, her task was to take care of cleaning and preparing our building for its many uses. Back then we had just finished the new addition, our congregation had 1100 members and we were beginning to make use of our new kitchen/fellowship space. When I came the following year, Don Wendt, the senior pastor at that time, spoke in glowing terms about Linda and her work. All I knew was Linda helped me navigate the world of being a new pastor, connecting programming and its influence on building needs and staff commitments. It was clear that Linda had a good work ethic, but more importantly to me was the fact that she helped me avoid mistakes commonly made by new pastors. I am forever grateful for this kindness and for the continued help she gives me, including helping me still to avoid making mistakes.
During the years that followed, staff changes were minimal but one such change in 2005 opened up our part-time office position. Linda was asked if she wanted to add this on top of her custodial work. She agreed and so began her time as a part-time custodian and part-time office staff.
Changes in personnel came again in February 2016. After considering our staffing needs, it was decided that we would see if Linda would want to move into full time office position. She agreed and began serving as our Office and Communications Coordinator. This December 14 will mark Linda’s 20th year of service to the people of St. John’s and the ministries we conduct. During that time Linda has seen our congregation grow to over 1300 members, hosting an ever growing number of groups, and an expanding staff that added a part-time Youth and Education Coordinator along with a full-time pastoral intern. She has helped us negotiate these changes, grow our congregation’s capacity for ministry and done so with a smile and a generous spirit.
I invite you to join us between services on December 10th as we recognize Linda, her ministry and this important milestone, not only in her life, but in the life of this congregation.