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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New youth director shares her two passions

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sarah Gengler
If you're seeing more of a friendly face flitting around town and other areas of Cherokee County, let it be known that it belongs to Sarah Gengler, new Youth Christian Education Director for the Cherokee Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Also the owner of a double BA degree in Journalism and Political Science from South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., Sarah will be putting her education to good use freelancing as a reporter/photographer for the Chronicle Times in her spare time.

The Adrian, Minn. native grew up on her parents' dairy farm and "fondly" remembers the seven days a week, 365 days a year 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. milking times.

Gengler graduated in 2001 from Adrian High School and graduated from SDSU in December, 2004, fast-tracking to her double degree in just 3 1/2 years because of high academic performance gleaned from her solid work ethic learned on the dairy farm.

Gengler commuted 100 miles round trip each day her final two years of college, while living and working part-time in the Sioux Falls, S.D. area.

Upon graduation, Sarah accepted a job as education reporter at the Fort Dodge (Iowa) Messenger.

Although she loved her work, she always knew something was missing in her life and it was her passion "to serve in Christian ministry I've always loved." She heard about the church job opening in Cherokee, applied, and was readily accepted in July.

"I still have an interest in Journalism and writing," said Gengler in a recent interview. "This (serving in ministry and writing for newspaper) is a wonderful opportunity here. I love the community so much. There are little comfortable niche places that make a town a home and Cherokee has that. I love working with the kids at church and the people here are friendly and kind."

In the back of her mind, Gengler one day dreams of, perhaps, getting ordained in the Presbyterian ministry. Currently, she is an ordained Presbyterian deacon.

But, until that time, the young Minnesota farm girl will stay focused on the job at hand - working diligently with the youth of Memorial Presbyterian Church while helping them learn how to best serve God. And, yes, in her spare time doing a little writing and photography for her "new" home town newspaper.

Among the many plans Gengler has for her church youth groups are to begin a kids choir that would practice before Sunday School on Sunday mornings, encourage more kids to regularly attend Sunday School, and to organize various fund-raisers to benefit missions.

Sarah is one of six Gengler siblings and her folks still farm the family farm near Adrian. She has one brother who works on the farm, another in college, and three sisters involved in their chosen careers.

"Choosing to come to Cherokee has been simply wonderful for me," reiterated Gengler. "I get to use my education and do what I love at the same time. I know I'm just gong to love it here. In fact, I already do."

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