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Ecumenical Institute graduates six students

Monday, February 8, 2010

Proud graduates - These students recently graduated from the training at the Ecumenical Institute in Cherokee. Left to right, Roger Sassman, Diana Pollard, Catie Newman, Joyce Kizzzler , Lynn Egesdial. Not pictured, Chris Mondak . Photo by Dan Whitney.
Joan Ballantyne also recognized for 15 Years of Service to EI Board

The Ecumenical Institute Board of Directors recently heard from this year's students about the benefits of their faith - based caregiving training. Six students met at CMHI for 100+ hours of classroom training, and also accumulated 300 hours of ministry experience over the last five months.

Congratulations to these students who graduated from the training program on February 4, 2010:

Lynn Egesdal, a participant in Wartburg Seminary's TEEM Program (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) of the ELCA, and lay leader at Nain Lutheran in Newell. She is also the Education, Youth and Family Ministry Coordinator for the Western Iowa Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Joyce Kizzier, Director of Faith Formation and pastoral minister at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Moville.

Recognition - Rich Cook (right) of the Ecumenical Institute Board of Directors, presents Joan Ballantyne with a plaque recognzing her 15 years of service on the Board. Photo by Dan Whitney.
Chris Mondak, a veterinarian and the ISU dairy specialist for 20 counties in Northwest Iowa. She leads support groups for dairy farmers in crisis and attends Christ the King Catholic Church in Sioux Center.

Catie Newman, a pastor at Hornick United Methodist Church and Salix Community United Methodist Church.

Diana Pollard, a certified lay minister who serves Methodist churches in Langdon and Spencer Zion.

Roger Sassman, who is a member of First Church of Christ, Cherokee and has a ministry visiting residents of area nursing homes.

The Ecumenical Institute Board is proud to carry on the pastoral caregiving training for NW Iowa, which started 42 years ago.The Ecumenical Institute Board of Directors proudly recognized Joan Ballantyne on February 4 for 15 years of service to the Board. Joan has provided effective leadership, serving as president of the board for many years, as well as serving on various committees. Joan helped many in the community see the vision of Father Gene Sitzmann to provide pastoral caregiving training to those in Northwest Iowa, and was a key leader in fundraising to help establish the Ecumenical Institute as a free - standing, non-profit ministry.

Other board members from Cherokee who have had the pleasure to serve on the Ecumenical Institute Board with Joan include Father Gene Sitzmann, Rev. Bob Alexander, Earl Pickens, Jean Miller, Tom Deiker, Tony Morris, Brad Dirks, Tom Heidenreich, Jay Loughlin, Wayne Rupp, Mike Hunter, Ivan Wiersema, Rich Cook, and Ben Shuberg.

Karen Borchers is the current Director of the Ecumenical Institute.

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