Board Spotlight: Pastor Jeri Soens

Haxtun Health Board of Directors Member

 

Pastor Jeri Soens

When she isn’t delivering a sermon at Haxtun United Methodist Church, literally clowning around – white face paint and everything – or out putting on puppet shows for seniors, Pastor Jeri Soens spends time volunteering as a Board Member for Haxtun Health.

Pastor Jeri is in her second term as a Board Member and she loves being able to be a part of working toward change. She was recently honored at Haxtun Health’s Girls’ Night Out annual celebration with the 2022 Wellness for Women award for being known to always help women going through difficult times with a smile on her face and the perfect prayer for a given situation.

“I want to give back to the community, but in a way that would have an impact on everyone,” she said. “Without all that Haxtun Health offers, our community would simply maintain, not survive the way it should.”

Being Pastor of the Methodist Church is a full-time job, but Pastor Jeri says she will always make time for things that help seniors and children. Her passion is the residents in Extended Care. She wants to make sure things are accessible for the residents there and improve their quality of life. Even through all the roles she takes on, she is also spending time working on a sewing project that brings dignity to the residents.

“Right now, I’m working on bibs that look like shirts,” she said. “I don’t want residents or their families to feel embarrassed for needing an extra piece of fabric. I want to make sure people can keep their dignity throughout the aging process.” While she loves spending time in Extended Care bringing entertainment and faith to the residents, Pastor Jeri also loves bringing joy to children. Her late husband used to call her a pied piper of children. She said she loves putting on clown costumes and make-up to go out to events and make balloon art for children – and anyone else who wants one.

Always known to have a positive outlook and smile on her face, Pastor Jeri even found a joyful way to make it through two battles with cancer, learning ventriloquism while in isolation.

“Life is a journey, and no matter what path I’m put on, I get excited because I get to meet new people,” she said about the experience. “I always say, no matter what it is, that if things go wrong, then something good is going to happen.”

After coming out of retirement to take the call and become Pastor at Haxtun United Methodist Church, Pastor Jeri said she really is glad to be here and that she loves the community. While she was only supposed to be working two years in Haxtun, she has now served as Pastor for eight years. She said the only time she wants to hear the word retire is when her car gets new tires.

“I feel that if you want change, you have to be part of the change. I want to see this little town grow. We are all little pieces of a puzzle and I love seeing that come together.”

Jeri Soens, Board Member

Pastor Jeri Soens receiving the
2022 Wellness for Women Award