United Methodist pastor to retire at 65

Published 9:40 am Friday, June 11, 2010

When the Rev. John Bromeland was assigned to United Methodist Church of Albert Lea nearly seven years ago, he never imagined he’d be retiring here.

“But I decided that when I turned 65, I’d retire, and I turned 65,” the pastor said.

The church will host an open house retirement party for him from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the church, 702 Highway 69 S. The public is welcome.

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“On Sunday, I’ll get to celebrate all these years of great ministry, not just in Albert Lea, but all the places I’ve served,” Bromeland said, adding Albert Lea has been one of his favorite churches.

“It has been a great life for me and my family,” Bromeland said of the ministry. “We’ve met the most tremendous people. We’ve been truly blessed.”

He and his wife, Jodi, have also enjoyed the Albert Lea community as a whole — so much so, they plan to stay here, unless, of course, Jodi finds a full-time position as a school guidance counselor.

“We’ve always put my career first. Now we can put hers first,” he said.

He said he’s enjoyed his association with all the other pastors in the community.

Among the other highlights for Bromeland during his time in Albert Lea is the men’s dartball team started at the church. “It has really been fun as I also have been on the team,” he said.

He said United Methodist is a praying church. “A few years back we created a prayer room and prayer ministry has grown,” he said.

Five years ago, the church increased its handicap accessibility by adding an elevator in the building as well as handicapped parking spaces.

He also said he feels the music ministry of the church and concerts for the community are something to celebrate. “We’ve held rock ’n’ roll, bluegrass, and polka services in recent years, which have been great fun,” the pastor said.

He said the church has also enjoyed sharing with friends and neighbors in ecumenical worship services during Lent and Thanksgiving.

Also, the church’s junior high-age youths have in recent years been made quilts, which they give to various mission organizations or needy people.

“There is much more — always something to celebrate as this congregation keeps finding new ways to reach out in ministry,’ Bromeland said.

It’s also been fun to be back in the part of Minnesota in which he grew up. The family still has its farm place near Frost, and there are lots of projects for him there. “I also have a Model A Ford that needs some attention,” Bromeland said.

After graduating from Frost High School, Bromeland attended Mankato State College and received his degree in corrections, social work and psychology.

After spending two years in the Army, Bromeland did six months of short-term missionary work before going to work for an international adoption agency for two years.

At that point, Bromeland decided to enter Bethel Theological Seminary in the Twin Cities, and served two churches while in seminary: Le Center and Cleveland.

After ordination, his first assignment was at Chisholm and Buhl on the Iron Range for four years, then at Epworth United Methodist Church in St. Paul.

Before coming to Albert Lea in 2003, he served Evangelical United Methodist in Rochester for nine years.

The Bromelands have four grown children and three grandchildren and also hope to spend more time with them.

Bromeland’s replacement begins on June 27.