June 7, 2021, Eden Prairie, MN – Sharon Krumm, Council President for Prairie Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota announced the retirement of Pastor Joel Quie at the end of June, in a June 7, news release. Pastor Quie has served as lead pastor for the congregation for twenty-five years, accepting the call to join Prairie Lutheran in June 1996.
Pastor Quie informed the Council and congregation of his plans to retire in February of this year. Prairie Lutheran Church is holding a celebration for Pastor Quie on Sunday, June 13th with a special worship service from 9:00-10:30 a.m. and reception afterwards (in large tents outside in the church parking lot).
“We have been truly blessed to have had Pastor Joel Quie leading our congregation for 25 years,” Krumm stated. “From his inspirational and deeply moving messages to his legacy of nurturing disciples to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community and the world, we are deeply grateful for his service to God and to our faith community,” Krumm continued. “Pastor Quie grounded his flock in the five holy habits of Worship, Learning, Serving, Giving and Prayer, establishing enduring values that shaped the spiritual lives of our parishioners.”
Pastor Joel Quie history, ministry, and service
Pastor Joel Quie is a graduate of St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary. He was ordained in 1986 and accepted his first call to serve Stewart Avenue Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1989, Pastor Quie moved to South Bend, Indiana to accept a full-ride scholarship to pursue his master’s degree and Ph.D. in Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He earned his master’s degree in 1991 and accepted a call to Christ the King Lutheran Church in South Bend where he served until accepting the call to Prairie Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, MN in 1996.
Over the past twenty-five years, Pastor Quie created numerous partnerships for Prairie Lutheran to work alongside other impactful local ministries, such as: Feed My Starving Children, MN Adult & Teen Challenge, Our Savior’s Shelter, Sharing and Caring Hands, 363 Ministries and PROP (People Reaching Out to People). During the pandemic, Prairie Lutheran has focused on running to the needs of others, offering aid and support to those suffering both economically and spiritually.
Pastor Quie’s creativity was especially noted in his development of new ministries at Prairie Lutheran. Fifteen years ago, Quie initiated “My Neighbor’s Faith”, an exploration of other faiths hallmarked by annual visits to mosques, synagogues, and other houses of worship to promote dialogue and develop deeper understanding of other faiths.
Ten years ago, Pastor Quie established, with what he describes as a “permission-giving congregation” an annual program known as the “Art of Faith.” These unique and highly anticipated events included a presentation by Pastor Quie on a specific artist and their work, as well as a thematic, gourmet five course meal crafted by congregants Paul and Sara Rosol and served by church volunteers. Pastor Quie used his vast knowledge and love of the arts to help others see art as another way of understanding their faith.
One of the highlights that stands out in Pastor Quie’s twenty-five year service at Prairie Lutheran is the building of a dormitory at the Saron Boys School in southern India. Through a partnership with Lutheran Partners in Global Mission, in 2006 the church raised all of the funds necessary to build a new dormitory for the impoverished students, becoming a “hero” congregation to the 200 students and their families, tithing the first $90,000 of all funds raised that year to the project. Pastor Joel and church members have made several trips to India to visit the school and continue offering support for the hope and education provided to the students.
Prairie Lutheran Church also forged a strong bond with the Doulos Discovery School in the Dominican Republic, building classrooms, sponsoring dozens of individual students, and organizing six mission trips to the Dominican Republic and the school. Healing Haiti was another international ministry that Prairie Lutheran embraced under Pastor Joel’s leadership, with five mission trips planned and completed.
During Pastor Quie’s tenure as Prairie Lutheran’s lead pastor, he successfully led five capital campaigns, including the building of a new sanctuary, classrooms, and gathering space completed in 2001. Intentionally fostering hospitality, service and excellence, Pastor Quie opened the church facilities to outside groups in the community. One of those groups was The Prairie School of Dance, founded by his wife, Sarah Linner Quie. Sarah and her teachers and students graced many church services at Prairie Lutheran with beautiful sacred dance compositions as part of the worship service. Other frequent community users of the church included the Boy Scouts, a preschool, and the Red Cross for regular blood drives.
Plans after retirement
Pastor Quie and his wife Sarah have called Eden Prairie, Minnesota home since 1996, and are planning to remain in the community. Their three sons, Christian, Johan and Stephan all graduated from Eden Prairie High School. Christian and his wife Jen are parents to Pastor and Mrs. Quie’s three grandchildren. Retirement plans for Pastor Quie include six “unscheduled” months, and then leading guided trips to the Holy Land in January 2022 and January 2023—his 9th and 10th of these journeys. In the days leading up to his retirement, he is performing several wedding and funeral services (many postponed due to the pandemic) and enjoying his beloved coffee meetings with congregants.
Pastor Quie’s last day at Prairie Lutheran Church is June 30, 2021. Sharon Krumm invited community members to share cards and notes of congratulations to Pastor Joel Quie by sending them to the Prairie Lutheran Church office at 11000 Blossom Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55347.