August 2023 Newsletter

An Update from Pastor Ryan Patenaude

Can you believe that I began my internship at St. Paul’s well over 5 years ago!? I remember our days there with such fondness. It was God’s hand the put us there and it was the perfect place for me to grow as a pastor. You also took such good care of us when we went through that terrible scare of Felicity’s tumor! Thank you again for blessing our family. I have enjoyed living close enough that over the last 4 years I have run into a remarkable number of you while out and about in Fargo (mostly at Costco!).

The Lord has really blessed our family through my call to serve West Prairie Free Lutheran. Churches are families and West Prairie felt like our family from the very beginning. Everyone there is our kind of people. I had heard that West Prairie was a “small but feisty” church before I had ever visited it, and they have lived up to their reputation. We have been blessed to add a couple families to membership each year and we have a great diversity of ages. I am hopeful that the Lord will leave us here for a long time!

For the first couple of years after we moved, Stephanie continued to homeschool the kids. But, two years ago, we decided to enroll them in public school. Not long after making that decision, Stephanie got the school nurse job in Kindred. This is an obvious blessing for us as her schedule perfectly mimics the children’s. But it is an also a blessing to the school. Shortly after Stephanie introduced herself to the district through a mass email, she received replies from Christian moms who said she was an answer to their prayers.

Kindred has a strong Christian undercurrent. I have said to many that Iris’ teacher last year was a Christian missionary undercover as a 4th grade teacher. This past spring I began learning to drive bus so I can be a sub. I did a few ride-alongs at the end of the school year and was so blessed by the opportunity to rub elbows with so many kids! I am excited for increasing opportunities to love the people of our community.

All of our kids are doing well. After Felicity’s tumor, we followed up with the doctors for months and we finally concluded that she was totally healed. She is a picture of health and is as spunky as any 6 year old has ever been. Louisa loves school and is loved by her peers. Iris is kind and thoughtful and declared on a school assignment that if she were president she would “end all abortions”. I didn’t even know she knew what abortion was! Solomon is the most social and has been petitioning to invite his entire grade over for a bonfire. Thor was confirmed this spring, loves to write, and asks really good questions.

Thanks again for doing so much for me and giving me a great foundation for ministry! I am excited about Matt Nelson being your pastor and look forward to being your distant neighbor for years to come!


View the August 2023 Newsletter here.