By Linda Andersen
Pastor Gregory Isaacson, who pastors Trinity Lutheran Church, Crookston, Minn., offered a short speech filled with good advice when he spoke at a recent meeting of the Lancaster Lion’s Club. Lancaster School Superintendent Shannon Hunstad and the Class of 2017 were honored guests at the meeting and meal.
Pastor Isaacson, who is a 1979 graduate of Lancaster High School, spoke fondly of the many activities he was able to participate in as a member of a small community, saying such varied participation has “paid off in a number of ways” in his life.
In an email interview with Isaacson prior to the event, he shared some information about his himself and his family. His grandparents Isaac and Signe Isaacson once resided in Lancaster. His parents, Laverne and Patricia Isaacson, currently live in Lancaster. His sister, Holly, and her husband, Troy Rosenbrook, live in Woodbury, Minn. He is married to Kristen and they have a son, Karsten, who is 13 years old.
He said his parents have influenced him in that “I’ve learned from their commitment to serving the community in which they live.”
Isaacson earned a bachelor’s degree in 1983 from Moorhead State University, with a double major in accounting and business administration. In 1991, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Before entering the ministry, he managed the Hallock office of American Federal Bank.
As a pastor, he served churches in Clarissa, Ada, Bemidji, and Afton prior to his coming to Crookston. Of his congregations, he said each has been “unique in their own settings, yet filled with positive, faithful people.”
Of his ministry, he stated, “I enjoy connecting with people in matters of faith. My ministry includes areas of worship, preaching, study, pastoral care, and administration. I continue to grow in leadership skills as ministry challenges emerge and people come together to address current needs.”
Isaacson uses his enjoyment of travel in his ministry. “I love to travel and can see myself putting together trips for groups of people. I have years of experience of organizing youth ministry trips to all parts of the United States. I have also led three separate adult groups on mission trips to the rainforests of Guatemala.”
What words of wisdom did Isaacson offer his recent audience in Lancaster? He said communication is particularly important in today’s world and listening is a big part of communication. We need to “listen to understand,” he stated.
“Develop a habit of learning,” he said. Reading is a big part of learning, but some “less formal” ways of learning include asking questions and trying new things. He suggested taking trips to experience different cultures as a good way to learn.
He challenged the audience to have a commitment to community. It’s important to have fun together and help people. “There are not a lot of people reaching out to help other people in the world today,” he stated. And, he offered one more important bit of advice on community involvement, “You get out of it what you put into it.”
By Linda Andersen