By Kate Knight
After serving more than 20 years at Good Shepherd Lutheran church in Plover, senior pastor Al Moen will retire this summer.
His official retirement date is set for July 1. Originally from Waco, the Texas native is ready to spend more time with his wife of nearly 40 years, Bonnie, while traveling and visiting family.
“I’ve been here for 23 years,” Moen said. “So it’s been a great match and a long stay, and I’m ready for retirement.”
Moen has nearly 40 years of experience under his belt, previously serving as a pastor in Weyauwega, Wisconsin for 14 years before moving to Plover with Bonnie in 1993.
“I grew up in Waco and went to Texas Lutheran University and then Luther Seminary in St. Paul,” Moen explained. He met Bonnie in Minnesota, and the two married in 1977 before Moen took the position in Weyauwega.
Since moving to Plover and serving in his current role, Moen said he has enjoyed his time with the faith community at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, witnessing many changes and growth.
“Ever since I’ve been here – and I think it’s just part of where we are with Plover growing – the people of the faith community have been very welcoming,” Moen explained. “… and that brings people in. It’s been fun to see visions of where [the church] might go in the future and continue to grow.”
Ben Sheets, current associate pastor at Good Shepherd, will take over and transition into the senior pastor role as Moen retires. Although a bittersweet goodbye, Moen looks ahead to the next chapter.
“It’s not hard for me to go into tears, and the congregation knows that,” Moen said. “I think they are doing great, and I’m looking forward to being retired and being with Bonnie, our kids and granddaughter – and to get more reunited, in a sense, with my family down in Texas.”
Moen said he is confident the church and faith community will be left in good hands.
Pastor Moen’s last sermon will be Sunday, June 19, and his final Sunday at Good Shepherd will be June 26. Both Sunday services will be held at 9 AM with a special farewell brunch to follow the June 26 service.
For more information about Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, visit www.eflock.org.