Bernards, Wyttenbach, to lead South Zumbro Lutheran
For a combined almost 50 years, Jeff Bernards, and Pete Wyttenbach taught in the Kasson-Mantorville School District.
Now the pair will be continuing to teach but in a different role, as they are the new pastors at South Zumbro Lutheran Church in rural Kasson.
For Wyttenbach, his journey of becoming a pastor is unusual to say the least.
Four years ago he was at a friends wedding that his friend was doing the services for and thought that the pastor did a really good job.
Knowing that their current pastor would be retiring soon, Wyttenbach asked him if he had any interest of possibly coming to their church.
His response was something he wasn’t expecting when he said to Wyttenbach “why do that when they have you.”
The pastor explained to Wyttenbach that he thought he would make a really good pastor and God had told him as well.
Thinking very little of it at the time, Wyttenbach continued with his every day life. But signs continued to reveal itself to him.
One of the signs that Wyttenbach had that he should become a pastor was from him building sermons in his head daily, with different happenings from the day.
Wyttenbach explained that he also had many people come up to him and asked if he ever considered becoming a pastor.
After a while, Wyttenbach said he quit questioning it and accepted what God was trying to tell him.
One of the benefits that Wyttenbach and Bernards had as they changed careers is the fact that the interim pastor at the time, was an instructor for a program that helped those who wanted to start a career when they are older, obtain the certification needed faster, and through an online program.
“It helped me a lot,” Wyttenbach said.
At the end of the school year, Wyttenbach resigned from his position as a middle school teacher at K-M and started his new chapter in life as the full-time pastor at South Zumbro Lutheran Church.
Wyttenbach said it is a great honor to be able to lead the church of about 850 members.
“It’s an honor being able to Shepherd people your familiar with.”
Becoming a pastor for Wyttenbach he said shows that anyone can be called into ministry.
“Even someone like me can be called into ministry,” Wyttenbach said.
Wyttenbach, explained that one of his favorite parts about the church is how open it is to everyone.
“It's a very warm and welcoming community,” he said.
For Bernards, his journey of becoming a pastor is somewhat different than Wyttenbach.
After spending 36 years as a teacher, Bernards was looking to do something with his time while he was retired.
Wondering what he was going to do, Bernards got a call and desire to do something in ministry.
As luck would have it, the interim pastor during that time, recommended to the church leadership that they should add a half time pastor for the first time in the church history due to the increased membership of the church.
As of the middle of June, Bernards has been serving as the first ever half time pastor.
“I am excited and looking forward to doing something with my time,” Bernards said.
Although he never served in an official capacity, Bernards explained that he has had many different duties during his 30 years of being a member of South Zumbro, which he feels will be a
Bernards, said that his 30 plus years of teaching and coaching will help him greatly when it comes to his new role.
“I have been blessed to be apart of South Zumbro Church. We have a great group of people that worship together.”
Bernards made the comparison that when he was working as a teacher his task each day was to help students with their math skills. As a pastor he will be teaching people skills of how to be more Christlike.
Overall, Bernards is looking forward to helping the congregation grow and serving the congregation.