Gary had a good day. Mayer Lutheran High School (MLHS) Science Teacher Gary Loontjer was recognized for 40 years in ministry at the 2015 Minnesota Lutheran Educators Conference on Oct. 15. On the same day, Gary also won an iPad Mini 4 from Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF).
“We’re blessed to show our appreciation for our Lutheran teachers,” said LCEF Minnesota South District Vice President Kurt Fuhr who attended the conference and presented the gift to Loontjer at the Verizon Wireless Center, Mankato, Minn.
Nearly 370 Lutheran teachers from both the Minnesota North and Minnesota South Districts of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) attended the conference under the theme, “Rooted and Growing in Christ,” drawn from Colossians 2:6-7. When conference president, MLHS Activities Director and English Teacher Kris Gustin shared the theme in the conference invitation, he wrote the following:
“As an English teacher who loves the power of literature, a garden metaphor seemed to be a perfect representation of our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The roots of a plant are its life source; they provide the very sustenance a plant needs to not only survive, but thrive. Damage the roots and the plant will wilt and bear no fruit, or even die. Immerse the roots in rich soil, and plants can endure all types of challenges above ground: severe drought, extreme winds, and excessive heat. Because the roots are buried deep within the life giving soil, the plant is able to survive…. As educators, we are also gardeners. We have the honor and the privilege of being able to help these young plants [students] who enter our classrooms …. we are able to water, guide and protect them because our service flows from our love for our Savior.”