St. Charles and Dover United Methodist Church
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.

Pastor's Reflection


This was posted in 2015 - 


A recent survey compiled all the qualities that people expect from the perfect pastor: 

    • Preaches exactly 12 minutes.
    • Frequently condemns sin but never upsets anyone.
    • Works from 8 a.m. until midnight and is also a janitor.
    • Makes $60 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books, drives a good car, and gives about $80 a week to the poor.
    • 28 years of age and has been preaching for 30 years.
    • Wonderfully gentle and good-looking.
    • A burning desire to work with teenagers, but is always with the senior citizens.
    • Makes 15 daily calls to church families, visits shut-ins and the hospitalized, evangelizes the unchurched, and is always in the office when needed. 

Hopefully, you got a good chuckle! 

A pastor’s life is unique – so challenging and so wonderful all at the same time! We get to be in love with Jesus and fall in love with people in churches and in the communities where we are placed, over and over again. Ten years ago, Gary and I moved to this parish and fell in love. United Methodist clergy are appointed to not only the churches but also the communities. 

For ten years we have tried to find where we could make a difference in the communities and have truly felt we belonged. For both of us much of our community involvement has centered around the schools. Gary has been a regular substitute teacher and sports supporter. I love it that I am often identified in St. Charles as “Mr. Klason’s wife”. 

For me, for over six years I was able to be involved with the Dover-Eyota and St Charles Schools effort to reduce teen drinking and educate our students, families and communities for a long term commitment to the health and safety of our youth. It was a deep joy to participate in that movement, from grant application, to implementation, to the continuation of the student groups in both schools. Ministerial restarted in St Charles and together the community churches have been able to serve in significant ways – from Resource Center support, to community food distribution, to holiday gift programs, to the school backpack program, providing summer school lunches, rotating the baccalaureate services, to name a few. Most recently involvement in the community this year is being a part of the 27 member community task force for facility planning for the St Charles schools. 

Most importantly, I have been so honored to be the pastor of the St Charles and Dover churches for ten years. It is what brought us to the area when the Bishop announced the intention to appoint Heather E. Klason to the United Methodist Churches of Dover and St. Charles. And then the ten year adventure began. 

Each church has its own personality, its own style, its own set of people and personalities and these differences have complemented one another as they have shared ministry. Over the ten years there have been many changes. Dover UMC became Dover Community Church serving as a convener and a service to their community, bringing families together in family friendly activities. St Charles UMC dreamed a new dream and remodeled their space to be handicapped accessible for worship, for Head Start, for Girls Scouts, for dance classes, for community events, choosing to remain in the center of the community, near the elementary school. The ministerial summer school lunches are served there since it is in walking distance from the school. 

During these ten years we have watched new lives begin as baptisms ushered them into the joy of faith. Bibles have been presented. Weddings have celebrated the love God has placed between two as they became one. Decisions in faith have been recognized and celebrated. Final journeys home have been grieved and honored as each ones life, gifts, legacies and memories have been cherished and acknowledged. We have prayed together, worshipped together, laughed together, cried together, wrestled together with the issues of faith and church in our world today. I could go on and on. Journeys of love are like that – so many memories, so much shared, so much we still wished to do together. 

Yet now a new adventure begins. In February, the words of our Bishop were heard again. This time, sending me forward into a new adventure, a new appointment moves Gary and me out of these communities to another. From these two churches to two different churches. And now again the words of the Bishop and Cabinet have announced the intention to appointment Pastor Cyndy Spear to the Dover and St Charles churches and communities. 

In God’s economy nothing is wasted – these ten years God has planted seeds and God invites these churches into a new future, to bring those seeds into full blossom. 

When I come to times like this since I have served in Minnesota, part of that me under the leadership of Bishop Sally Dyck, I often default to one of her favorite sayings, “Change is strange.” ‘Bout sums it up, doesn’t it? 

We will leave with love and tears, yet also joy and anticipation of what God has planned for the next chapter in your lives and in ours. 


Thank you all – we have been so honored to share ministry with so many, to be used in our time here to serve these communities. 


                                                                         In Love and Appreciation,                                        

                                                                                       Pastor Heather