Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Marsons Remain Supreme at Chili Cook-Off

Dawn and Scott Marson were all decked out as royalty which was fitting when their chili was judged the best for the second year running at the Baldwin Area Chamber of Commerce's second annual Chili Cook-Off held last Saturday in Bailey Park.

B-W ACT Scores Measure Up

Baldwin-Woodville High School juniors and seniors who most recently took the ACT test achieved a composite score of 22.2, according to results presented to the school board by Principal Eric Russell. That score compares to a state composite of 22.3 and national composite of 21.2.

Russell said that Minnesota ranks first and Wisconsin second for ACT scores nationwide.

The ACT consists of test in English, mathematics, reading, and science designed to measure skills needed for success in first year college courses.

Rush River Lutheran Installs New Pastor

Gerd Bents is the new pastor at Rush River Lutheran Church. He was installed at a service on Sunday, September 2.

After two successive interim pastors, Rush River Lutheran Church
installed a new full-time pastor, Gerd Bents, on Sunday, September 2.

Bents, who grew up as a pastor's kid, said that he was not always
certain that he wanted to be a pastor. He received his college degree in social work and psychology then worked for Girls and Boys Town where he managed a 24 hour crisis shelter for kids. He followed that with a masters degree in education and school psychology and then received his call, Pastor Bents said.

"I spent lots of time thinking," he said, "and I can say with certainty that God has called me into this vocation."

Bents grew up in a couple small towns in Minnesota and Iowa and graduated from high school in Northwood, Iowa. He attended and graduated from Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, then worked at Girls and Boys Town and worked with kids "who were not having good weeks."

After his year at UW-Stout where he earned his masters degree "I realized I enjoyed school psychology and public education but realized there are deep spiritual needs we as a people have" which are not all addressed at school.

Bents attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul from 2002-07 and graduated in May of this year. The call to Rush River Lutheran is his first. "I'm very excited to be here," he said. "The congregation is extremely welcoming," said Pastor Bents and added that is has "a sense of future stability."

He added that he realizes the church is not built around the pastor, but the pastor and congregation are interdependent. Pastor Bents said his first and foremost goal at Rush River Lutheran is "preaching the gospel-preaching God's love for us."

He noted that the congregation is very interested in youth and young adult ministries, so he will be engaged in "building up young people to be leaders," and also encouraging lay leadership in the church. Another focus will be visitation of the homebound.

Pastor Bents was ordained the day before he was installed at Rush River Lutheran. He officially started work there on August 1. Pastor Bents lives at present in Hudson but is looking for a place closer to his church. He has two children, Raena, 5, who just started kindergarten in River Falls and Harm, 3.

Among the activities Pastor Bents enjoys in his spare time are playing basketball, lifting weights, kayaking, fishing, golfing and camping.

Rush River Lutheran Church is in Pierce County, just north of STH 28 on CTH Y. Pastor Bents said everyone is welcome to attend church there. Services are 10:30 a.m. on Sundays.

New parent educator joins staff of Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley

The Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley (FRCSCV) recently hired Apryl Mullvain to join its growing organization as its newest parent educator. A River Falls resident, Mullvain comes to FRCSCV with experience as a teen parent specialist, volunteer coordinator and middle school teacher with a passion for helping parents.

"While teaching middle school students was very rewarding, I wanted to get back to my work with parents of young children," said Mullvain. "Teaching and making home visits are not new activities for me, so after my Parents as Teachers training in October, I'll be certified like the Family Resource Center's other parent educators who also have four year degrees. I am thrilled to be Family Resource Center's newest Parent Educator."

The Family Resource Center St.
Croix Valley is an early childhood development and parent education organization that serves children from birth to six years of age and their parents in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties. The Center's Educators are certified to offer a nationally-acclaimed curriculum and they upgrade their skills frequently through continuing education.

"Our Parent Educators are the backbone of the organization," stated Patty Draxler, FRCSCV Executive Director. "Because of their dedication and expertise, we have helped young children and their families succeed in St. Croix County for almost ten years and have recently expanded our services to serve Pierce and Polk counties."

Provided without charge to all families of Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties, the Family Resource Center St. Croix County offers: home visits, screenings, playgroups, Baby & Me classes, parent education, resource network and Teen Parent Program. Complementing current programs and services is a visiting program for infants and parents at Baldwin Area Medical Center and River Falls Area Hospital. A Parent Educator from the Family Resource Center meets with the families of newborns during their hospital stay. Partnering with the
Family Resource Center and the hospitals to provide this program is United Way's Success By 6.

For more information about the Center's programs and services,contact the FRCSCV headquarters in Baldwin at 715-684-4440 or info@frcscv.org.