Herald JournalHerald Journal, Oct. 27, 2003

New pastor is serving at Montrose Methodist church

By Julie Yurek

Once a math teacher and coach, Pastor Elizabeth Hadler is now teaching spirituality.

Hadler, 37, is the new pastor at Montrose United Methodist church. The position is part-time.

She and her family, husband Gary, and children Daniel, 10; Nicole, 8; Joshua, 6; Isaac, 4, and Emily, 2, recently moved to Hutchinson from north St. Paul.

Before Hadler's assignment at Montrose, she was a part-time associate pastor at White Bear Lake Methodist Church.

"Both are great communities," she said. "Montrose is a community that is self-sufficient."

Hadler was ordained as a deacon in 1996. She completed her student internship at White Bear Lake, and was given the appointment there after her graduation in 1998 from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in New Brighton. She was ordained as an elder in 2002.

Hadler didn't intend to become a pastor. Her call to service happened when she and Gary traveled to Brazil on a mission trip to help repair a home for homeless children in the summer of 1992. They spent two weeks there, and also started building another home for the children.

It was after that experience that she realized she was being called to service, she said. "It was life-changing."

Hadler has a degree in math from University of Missouri ­ Rolla, which she attended on a basketball scholarship. She met Gary at college, and they married her senior year.

After graduation they moved to Knoxville, Iowa, where she taught eighth grade math and coached volleyball, basketball, and tennis. Gary took an engineering job at 3M.

Hadler later took a job at Central College in Pella, Iowa, teaching math, coaching, and counseling high school students who were entering the college.

Hadler had intended on getting a master's in education and going on to become a dean of students, but then the Hadlers went to Brazil.

After their Brazil trip, Hadler and her family moved from Knoxville so she could enroll in seminary school in the spring of 1993 at Menomonie, Wis. Gary was able to transfer to another 3M company.

Hadler and Gary had been looking to move to a smaller community for a few years, she said.

This summer she was appointed family leave, and shortly after they moved, the appointment at Montrose became available. She began her assignment in October.

The average length of assignment is between seven to 10 years, she said. The Bishop can move a pastor at anytime, however, with more pastors having families, the Bishop is more likely to ask the pastor what he or she would like to do, Hadler said.

Sunday church services at Montrose United Methodist are at 9:30 a.m., with Sunday school at 10:30 a.m.


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