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April Newsletter

April has arrived.  Normally I would be staring out my window as the world comes alive once again.  And while the grass is growing once again, the flowers are pushing up through the dirt, and the trees are budding all around me, this April is so vastly different than any I have seen in my 62 springs.  While new life and growth are evident all around us, yet we are also surrounded by worry, fear, and anxiousness.  This has become the year of the virus.

By now most all of you are very aware of the restrictions that have been placed on most Americans, and for that matter, many around the world. The coronavirus has descended upon a large portion of our country, and has become an unseen threat to our everyday lives.  Travel restrictions, schools closed, businesses shuttered… the new normal for most Americans has become anything but normal.

So far, most of us have been fortunate here in Van Wert and Paulding counties. As I write these words, I am aware of only two cases so far confirmed in Van Wert county.  In talking with many family members, friends, and church members. I feel that God has blessed this portion of the state and that most are doing very well while being mostly confined to their homes.

Like most churches in Ohio and across the country, we have been advised to close our church doors until further notice.  Trust me when I say how frustrated I am and how much I miss our weekly church services and Bible study times.  While we here at Kingsley have been taping an abbreviated Sunday morning worship and uploading to as many as we can, the electronic version can never replace the personal one-on-one time that we know and love so well.  Still, until we can safely open the church doors again, we will continue taping the weekly Sunday morning worship services, along with the personal vlogs from my home a couple times each week.

One thought I want to leave you with.  Philippians 4:4-7 tells us, 4″Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.

Do not be afraid. If God leads you to it, He will lead you through it!  Blessings to you and yours; May the Lord keep you safe from harm!

In His Service,

Pastor Gary Ginter

Pastor Gary N. Ginter

So, who is this new pastor coming your way? Perhaps the best way to introduce myself is to share a bit of my journey into ministry. Born in Decatur, Indiana and raised in New Haven, Indiana, my introduction to church life began as a child. My earliest memories are of attending church with my family. For the Ginter family, church was much more than just something you did on Sunday morning. We were a family actively engaged in worship, whether it was Sunday school, youth group, weekday services, or potluck gatherings.

In 1977 I met the young woman who would be my wife, Nola Thomas of rural Grover Hill. Married in the summer of 1978, we made Middle Creek United Methodist Church our home church, and raised our three children in its pews.

Looking back, at the age of 13, I was granted a vision of myself preaching in front of a congregation of people. Keeping that in the back of my mind, I became actively involved in our local church as I accepted roles as Sunday school teacher, Lay Leader, and served as members of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee and the Administrative Council. At the age of 30, remembering my vision, I became a Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church, filling pulpit on occasion for other pastors.

In 2000 I finally heeded my call into the ministry and began the process of seeking to be a licensed pastor in the United Methodist Church. On January 1, 2001 I was appointed to my first church, St. John’s UMC in Columbus Grove, Ohio as a licensed Local Pastor. Nola and I served St. John’s for over 14 years, during which I completed the United Methodist Course of Study program at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Delaware, Ohio, a five year program specifically designed for United Methodist Local Pastors.

On May 1, 2015 I was appointed to Kingsley UMC in rural Van Wert County. To the Kingsley Church, Nola and I bring a love of God and a firm belief in the Bible, along with an enthusiasm for youth and an appreciation for the saints of the church. We believe that church should be fun and exciting, and offer a sense of humor combined with a deep spiritual belief in God as we tell the stories of the Bible that still impact our lives today.

We invite you to come join us and be prepared for fun, excitement, and warm welcoming fellowship as we seek the Will of God together as a church and as friends.

In His Service… Pastor Gary Ginter

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