Pastor Lohre to retire from Saint Paul Lutheran Church
By Audra DePestel
PINE ISLAND – After over 20 years as pastor at Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Pine Island, John Lohre will be retiring on May 31. A potluck gathering will take place after worship on May 4 to celebrate his retirement.
Before beginning at Saint Paul Lutheran Church in November of 1993, Lohre was the pastor at Immanuel Lutheran in St. Paul for 16 years. He and his wife Mary have been married for 46 years and they have two grown daughters, Sara and Kathryn, and three grandchildren. Sara was in college when the Lohre family joined the Pine Island community. Kathryn graduated from Pine Island High School in 1995.
Lohre is grateful for his years at Saint Paul. He said, “It’s a work I love to do. As pastors, not everything [he and Associate Pastor Kip Groettum] do works for everyone we serve. The past two decades have been an adventure.” Lohre said he is most proud of the congregation for their mission work and benevolence. Many upgrades and improvement to the church have also taken place over the years including building an educational wing, landscaping, new carpet and pew cushions, projecting worship words, just to name a few. He said, “We participated in a Community Service Project Day on Rally Day in 2013 that was just incredible. Saint Paul has grown strong in lay involvement in all aspects of ministry in and through our congregation.”
Saint Paul Lutheran Church is celebrating 116 years of serving at its current location. Pastor Lohre attributes the success and longevity of the church to the faithful and generous congregation, who he says works together in the best ways toward the mission they share. “We’ve learned to say: God’s Work, Our Hands. I’m so grateful to have been part of this mission,” Lohre said.
In retirement Lohre hopes to spend time with his family and be able to serve as interim pastor for other churches in the area that are in transition.