Faith Lutheran Church of Punta Gorda welcomed Rev. Dana Narring as its new shepherd at his installation service on Sunday, March 21, 2010. Officiating at the service was Rev. Dr. Randy Winkle. The preacher, who also installed Rev. Narring, was Rev. Gregory Walton – president of the Florida Georgia Dist of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Rev. Narring grew up in Detroit, MI where he attended Lutheran High School East. While in high school, he lettered in three sports and was active in the band program. Pastor Narring also was involved in Scouting from Cub Scouting through the rank of Life Scout in Boy Scouting and earning Scouting’s highest religious award – Pro Deo Et Patria. He currently serves on the District Committee for our area.
After high school, Pastor Narring attended Ferris State College in Big Rapids, MI and later, schools in Florida – after his family moved there following his junior year. He was an active member of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Oviedo, FL, where he led Bible classes and was involved with the building program. He was encouraged by his pastor (who also was his confirmation pastor in Detroit), Rev. Edwin J. Rossow, to once again pray about serving the Lord in the pastoral ministry. With support from vicars from St. Luke’s, he went to visit Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Upon visiting the campus, he felt it was where he needed to be. After 3 years at the seminary, he was assigned to Spirit Lake, IA for vicarage – where he soon had to assume the pastoral duties for the congregation after their pastor had accepted a call. After completing his vicarage, he returned to the seminary for his final year. Upon graduation, Pastor Narring was called to Peace Lutheran Church, in Sunrise Beach, MO as their first full-time pastor. He has al served congregations in Platte City, MO, and Sarasota, FL.
Before being called to Faith Lutheran, Rev. Narring worked as a chaplain, first at Life Path Hospice in Tampa, and then for TideWell Hospice in Sarasota. Most recently, he had been called as the part-time Assistant Pastor for Good Shepherd Lutheran in Sarasota. Starting in November, he filled the position of Vacancy Pastor for Faith Lutheran and, in February, was called to be their full-time pastor.
Pastor Narring sees great potential here at Faith in Punta Gorda. He stated that, “The members are warm and genuine, and that they have a desire to reach-out with the Gospel to the community. With that kind of an attitude, and a great facility, growth can happen!” His vision for the congregation is to have them, “Open the Book.” He would like to see members more involved in reading the Bible, and in Bible Study. This is important to understanding what God’s purpose is for them, and for how they can serve the Lord through Faith Lutheran Church and in their community. He also believes that it is important for Faith to expand their base by adding more full-time residents – while continuing programs to grow our ministry to winter residents. He feels that evangelism is going to be a key in Faith’s future. Rev. Narring looks forward to a long and fruitful ministry at Faith Lutheran Church.