By Shannon Johnson
“I love working with God’s people wherever they are in life,” explained Gwen Evens, the new Youth Director at the United Trinity Parish. “Children are sponges and that is the best way to start their faith journey. Love them as God loves us.”
“I grew up in Canby, MN and graduated from Minneota High School, a town just 18 miles away from Canby. I have lived in different towns in Minnesota and South Dakota,” Gwen said. “I have had various jobs throughout my life from customer service to food preparation to be a Vicar.”
“A Vicar is an interim presiding minister. In this position I was able to perform the sacraments per the Synod, just not marriages,” she added.
“My husband Floyd was a truck driver until 2014 when he was disabled due to two strokes. I lovingly call him my house husband. He keeps things in line at home. He also inherited my three children from a previous marriage,” she lovingly gushed about her family. “Cody is 25 and in the Army. He will be returning to South Korea in October to start a new job within the Army. He will serve one year and then be transferred to Fort Hood in Texas. Travis is 22 and lives in Marshall, Minnesota where he currently helps others with daily living skills as a PCA. Natalie is 21 and attends Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa and plays basketball for them. She is a junior this year and hopes to play professional basketball overseas after she is done with college. Her major is Sports Management.”
Gwen has been active in the church for many years, “I had been discerning my role within the church setting for about 15 or more years and a position opened up in Montevideo, MN for a youth coordinator and I jumped at the chance,” she acknowledged. “From then on I have been working somewhat with the church.”
Gwen began working at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Montevideo in September of 2016 and continued working in her position there as their youth and family minister coordinator until May of 2018. “Then in November 2018 I was given the title of vicar as a Synodically Authorized Minister to serve the Big Bend Lutheran Congregation in Big Bend, MN,” said Gwen. “They are about a 300-member congregation in southwest Minnesota.”
Gwen is excited that her work has brought her to Montana. “I was soon done with my job as a Vicar in Minnesota. I talked with my husband and he said wherever you go, I go, so I put feelers out and the gracious group here welcomed my husband and I with open arms when we came for a visit and it has been a blessing since,” said Gwen.
Gwen’s job will entail coordinating all the youth activities with help from volunteers. The age group encompasses Pre-K up, sometimes even through college. “We are going to be gearing up for the National Youth Gathering being held in Minneapolis in June 2021. This will be for 8th through 12th graders in the Fall of 2020. We are also starting our fall schedule with confirmation and Faithweavers. Retreats, Christmas program, fun, fun and more fun,” explained Gwen.
“We are all kids at heart and have a love for each other and we need to share that,” she added happily.