By Solomon Gustavo
COKATO, MN - Pastor Mike Nelson will be saying goodbye to North Crow River Lutheran Church, located at 45 Quinnell Avenue South in Cokato, and Grace Lutheran Church, located at 17225 30th Street in Cokato, after 12 years of service.
He was also the pastor for the now closed Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kingston.
Nelson’s final services in Cokato will be this Sunday, Nov. 8. He’ll preach at Grace Lutheran at 9 a.m., and North Crow at 10:30 a.m.
Nelson has accepted a call in Donnelly. He said the transition is bittersweet but mutually beneficial.
“It’s the right time for me to be going on to a different call,” said Nelson. “I think it is time for them to have different leadership as well.”
Nelson said he enjoyed events like the 135-year anniversary of North Crow and Redeemer’s centennial. He enjoyed being part of ceremonies like weddings and said it was a “blessing to be a part of the grief process,” during funerals.
“I always enjoyed the confirmation program, working with kids that age,” Nelson said.
Nelson said he and his family enjoyed the Cokato community. Highlights include when his daughter was named a Wright County dairy princess, and being involved with the Cokato Chamber of Commerce and the county extension master gardener program.
“What’s great about this community is the collegiality of the pastors. Regardless of the denomination, we work well together. There is the sense that people lift each other up,” Nelson said.
He said he won’t forget the life he and his family built in Cokato and that he is “confident these two churches will be in good hands.”
“I will always remember the friendships I developed here. I am just grateful for the opportunity to live and serve in this community.”