Pastor Profile: Juanita HarbertsNAME: Juanita Kay Harberts CHURCH: Prairie Star Ministries, which is made up of five smaller congregations: Amo Lutheran in rural Storden; Heron Lake Evangelical Lutheran; Grace Lutheran in rural Worthington; First Lutheran in Dundee; and Immanuel Lutheran in rural Fulda. Also Lutheran Campus Ministries at Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall.
NAME: Juanita Kay Harberts
CHURCH: Prairie Star Ministries, which is made up of five smaller congregations: Amo Lutheran in rural Storden; Heron Lake Evangelical Lutheran; Grace Lutheran in rural Worthington; First Lutheran in Dundee; and Immanuel Lutheran in rural Fulda. Also Lutheran Campus Ministries at Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall.
NUMBER OF YEARS IN MINISTRY: This is technically my first call, but I have several years of experience working as a lay leader.
NUMBER OF YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: First call
REASON FOR GOING INTO THE MINISTRY: I have always been led and supported by Christ, and when you do not see many mentors who look like you, it is hard to believe that God is really calling you. I thought I felt God calling me, and would immediately dismiss it thinking I could not possibly have any talent that God could possibly want to use. After years of denying, other doors began to be shut so that I felt this is what God wants me to do.
EDUCATION: I graduated from high school in Worthington; graduated from Minnesota West Community and Technical College with an associate's degree; transferred to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., with a double major in business administration and religion; and then I attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul and received my Master of Divinity degree.
FAMILY: I am married to my husband, Brad, for 31 years. We have three children: Christa is a regional health coordinator for WalMart; our daughter, Andrea Kuipers, is a social worker in Sioux Falls for the school district; and our son, Nick, works for MInnesota Soybean Producers in Brewster in the maintenance of the plant. We have one granddaughter, Joslyn Kuipers, 1 year old.
PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY: Sharing the Love of Christ with everyone! This mission is what I feel called to, and I try to live that out in many different ways.
PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS: I am working with the Companion Synod committee with our brothers and sisters in South Africa. Shetek Conference will be bringing another group to Ondini circuit, South Africa, in February. I am also interested in working with young people and building bridges between different cultures — the cultures of rural/urban, as well as ethnic cultures. We all share the same creator, and we need to celebrate our differences as well as our similarities.
PERSONAL INTERESTS: I still love to sew, and have enjoyed creating banners and pictures to enhance our worship spaces.
FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE: There are so many that are dear to my heart, but I have chosen John 12: 35-36 for the Gospel at my ordination service, thinking of God as lighting the path that we walk;, and from John 1:4-5 which says, “In him was the life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
A service of ordination for Juanita Harberts will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at her home church, American Lutheran Church in Worthington, with ELCA Southwestern Minnesota Synod Bishop Jon Anderson presiding.