Joshua William Gyson will be ordained into the ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on Thursday, June 30, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Anna Maria Island, where he and his family are members.
He has been called to serve as pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Lutz. He will be formally installed there July 24.
Gloria Dei will host a dinner in Gyson’s honor at 5 p.m. June 30. The ordination service will follow at 7 p.m. with Bishop Robert Schaefer of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod presiding. The community is welcome to take part in the meal and service.
Gyson first moved to Anna Maria Island in 2004 (“welcomed by Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne,” he says). He and his wife, Sara, married on the beach there. After he graduated from Western Michigan University, they moved back to Anna Maria, where daughter, Mackenzie, and son, Keller, were born.
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In 2012, the family moved to Pennsylvania where Gyson began studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. That year, their daughter, Emma, was born.
In May, he received his master of divinity degree from the seminary. At his graduation, he was recognized as the first recipient of a new award for the study of ecology and theology presented by an interfaith consortium of prominent Washington, D.C.-area educational institutions.
Seminary graduates have no guarantee of where their first call will be. Gyson is grateful his will be in his own backyard.
“I am overjoyed to know our family will continue to be surrounded by all of the love from our relatives and friends that we have missed so much for nearly four years,” he says. “My parents live on AMI, my little brother is in St. Pete, and my father-in-law and my wife’s sister and family live in Bradenton.”
He credits Pastor Rosemary Wheeler Backer at Gloria Dei for guiding him to make the decision to pursue a career in ministry.
“If it were not for Pastor Rosemary, I would still only be contemplating my call,” he says.
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is at 6608 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach.