From time to time, it is good to have a new or different perspective on something you are familiar with or have been a part of for a long time. I’ve had the privilege of being involved in Special Ministries for over a decade from several different perspectives.
I began my affiliation with Special Ministries as the chairman of the Intellectual and Developmental Disability Ministries (IDDM) committee. I then, almost simultaneously, accepted the call to serve as the director of Jesus Cares Ministries and was elected chairman of Special Ministries. For the last decade I’ve said that I’ve been blessed to have a foot in both camps. Being a part of Special Ministries and also having the privilege of leading a partner of Special Ministries has given me many opportunities to bridge the two and help serve many, many people in both areas.
With this issue of His Hands we express a debt of gratitude to Jim Behringer for his loving leadership of Special Ministries over the last 11 years. Special Ministries has been simultaneously associated with Jim and vice versa. Thank you, Jim, for being the “heart” of Special Ministries and for all you’ve done to help the many people served by the different arms of Special Ministries!
I consider it an incredible privilege to be asked to serve as only the fourth director (Alfons Woldt, Carl Ziemer and Jim Behringer) in the 50-year history of WELS Special Ministries. While I’ve been involved with this area of ministry, I now have a different perspective that has me seeing what it takes to help Special Ministries on a day-to-day basis serve and assist the many people and areas of what has been described as the “heart” of WELS. I humbly ask for your prayers that I would carry on the good work of those who have led Special Ministries for the last 50 years. I look forward to working with everyone associated with Special Ministries in any way. I welcome any thoughts, input, questions, concerns, etc. you might have as together we continue to serve as His Hands.
Joel Gaertner, director, WELS Special Ministries
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