Ph.D. in Christian Ethics, Union
Theological Seminary in New York City, 1981.
M.Phil. in Christian Ethics, Union Theological Seminary
in New York City, 1977.
M.Div. in Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary
in New York City, 1974.
B.A. in Philosophy and Religion,
West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV, 1971.
Photo at the right is from my Ph.D. graduation.
Served in pastor appointments between 1981-2011.
Newport (July 2000-December 2011)
Salem - now Crossroads Church, Inver Grove Heights (September 15, 2010-June 30, 2011)
Hillcrest, Bloomington (1993-June 2000)
Central Park, St. Paul 1984-1993
Clarissa-Eagle Bend-Clotho (1981-84)
Ordained Elder, 1983, Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
Ordained Deacon, 1973, West Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
46 years since being called to ministry and serving communion for the first time
38 years since ordination
Forty years from first serving as a pastoral intern to retirement. During the ten years between my first internship in a church and my first appointment as pastor, I worked in many forms of ministry in New York City while studying and earning three degrees - Ph.D., M.Div. and M.Phil.
Officiated at over 850 weddings, 400 baptisms and 300 funerals while preaching 1500 sermons, teaching 50 classes and ministering with 5,000 parishioners.
Wrote a short story, "Guilty Harry" in 2015. Read it HERE
Wrote eight romantic novels/screenplays in two years about religious, ethical and relationship issues (all are represented by Writers Literary Agency - epublished but still available for print publishing and film production). "Gary writes fast and he delivers on time."
Click here to go to Amazon.com. Then search for Gary Ritner to see all of my publications and download them for $2.99 each.
To read an article in the South Washington County Bulletin regarding my three novels written in 2007-08 CLICK HERE
My three novels are available for borrowing in PDF/Ebook format from the Washington County Library. They were selected by and placed there as part of the Local Content Project in 2012.
Courage In the Clutch
Fantasy Love Online
August '09: Epublished a romantic screenplay about second chances. Set in the world of professional golf, the screenplay focuses on fidelity in marriage and caring for one's family (an ethical alternative to infamous relationship scandals) -Mulligan
May '09: Epublished a romantic screenplay about teenage depression, alcoholism, love, skiing, and meaning set in a mystery about a teenager's disappearance - Missing Bryce
January '09: Epublished a romantic screenplay about sources of personal power in religion and philosophy for fulfilling dreams in later life - Carousel Unicorn
August '08: Epublished a romantic screenplay about courage, history and the Civil War - Search For Blame
March '08: Epublished an inspirational romantic Sci-Fi screenplay about a new planet to rescue earthlings and aliens from annihilation - Project Venus Haven
February '08: Epublished an inspirational romantic novel (in a pickup basketball setting). Pickup Hoops Games Ebook available for loan from the Washington County Library - Pickup Games
January '08: Epublished an inspirational romantic novel (encouraging safety and good decisions in online dating). Fantasy Love Online Ebook available for loan from the Washington County Library - Fantasy Love Online
April '07: Epublished an inspirational romantic novel (in a golf setting) about finding the courage to succeed under pressure. Courage In the Clutch Ebook available for loan from the Washington County Library - Courage In the Clutch
Wrote and Published FATHERS' LIBERATION ETHICS, University Press
of America, Lanham, MD, January, 1992. Click
on this text to check it out and for ordering information. Or ..... CLICK HERE to see an extensive preview on Google Books. FATHERS' LIBERATION ETHICS is on the shelves of over 200 academic college and university libraries in the US and Canada.
St Andrews - The Old Course, Swilken Bridge, 18th Hole CLICK HERE
Also in this photo - Augusta, The Masters, Number 12 and 13 - Pebble Beach, Number 7 - Speidel, Number 4 - Afton Alps Golf Club house, Pemaquid Point, Maine (where I survived a treacherous ocean current crashing waves against the rocks), Afton Alps Ski Area, Lift 16, Sailing Spinnaker, 17th Hole at TPC Sawgrass, floating green at Lake Couer d'Alene, Harbour Town Links, Pebble Beach 6, 7 and 8
CLICK HERE for my Water Color of Gopher Hills
Music Composing, Singing and Playing Keyboard
A Way of Gentle Caring," - a choral piece for Worship, Fall 1995. CLICK HERE to view a Flash presentation of my family slides and Pam (wife) and I singing "There's A Way of Gentle Caring." Resize the window that opens so that it is about 5 inches wide and 3 inches high to get the best focus. On slow connections it may play roughly the first time through and then improve if you let it play through a second time.
"There's A Way of Gentle Caring"
by Gary Ritner
There's a way of gentle caring
and of giving thanks to God
for all God has done we can love and live as one,
all sisters and brothers are we.
With these loving words do we
become what God made us,
beautiful child of the Son.
We can have a heart that's loving
not rejecting any neighbor;
seeing good in everyone;
building up not tearing down
giving life so all may live.
With too much critique we whither,
but loving light makes us,
ripened fruit of the Vine.
CLICK HERE to see a video of my playing jazz improvisation on my keyboard.
Wrote "Spirits Rising," a choral introit for
Morning Worship, and three other Arrangements and Lyrics for Worship 1993.
Acted the Male Lead (Singing too), Senior Class Play, "Curly" in Green Grow the Lilacs - a version of Oklahoma,
Triadelphia High School, 1967. See photo above at right with cowboy hat.
Web Managing and Designing
Created SaintSavers Wedding Officiating, Photography, Videography, Sound Support and Web Services, 2003.
Created Wedding Ministers, 2004, to match couples with wedding ministers around the USA.
February '08: Created SaintSavers Epublishing, 2008, to publish original works of authors and artists. Ebooks and music can be downloaded. Publish your work here, quick and easy ... and real cheap - $50 a year for web site, domain, technical support ... and the author controls the payment account.
Created whatagreatchurch.org, 2003, to assist churches with the creating and maintaining of a web site for a very low price.
Created The Gourmet Soup Company Webshop, 2003, to provide affordable web sites, domains, hosting accounts and tech support for small business and non-profit clients.
Created SaintSavers Web Designing Services, 2003, to provide web design, hosting, domain registration and tech support.
Sites managed by Gary Ritner include but are not limited to the following (over 30 sites managed):
- AirForce Filters
- Katie and Company
- Fall Lake Township
- Robert Lopno Associates - Therapists
- Cradle of Wings - Song for an Infant Funeral or Loss of a Child
- Antonina Brem Wedding Services
- Chris Richardson Wedding Officiating Services
- SaintSavers Wedding Officiating Services
- Epworth UMC, Minneapolis, MN
- Mounds Park UMC, St. Paul, MN
- Ely UMC
- Aurora UMC, MN
- Olivet UMC, Robbinsdale, MN
- Faith United Church, Winthrop, MN
As well as many private web sites.
Served as a Photographer, Videographer, Sound Technician, 1970-Present (During College, Seminary, for Weddings and in Local Churches).
Assisted in maintenance of the Web Site of the Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1994-July 2004. To see the current version, click here.
Winner of 2 Merit Awards for Excellence from United Methodist Association of Communicators Annual Meeting in Mesa, Arizona, October 15, 1997; and one of 2 Certificates of Recognition for Web pages at UMAC in 1999 in Cleveland, Ohio. View Front Page Context for this article.
Minneapolis Star Tribune article hilighting Gary's Pastor's Pointers web pages
Taught "Ethics and Social Justice Issues,"
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Fall, 1990.
Taught "Modes of Ministry," United Theological
Seminary of the Twin Cities, Winter, 1985.
Taught "Religious Social Ethics," St. John's
University School of Theology, Winter, 1985.
Taught "Christian Ethics in Urban Ministry,"
Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Winter, 1992.
Contracted to teach "Contemporary Theology,"
Hamline University, Fall, 1986.
Lectured on Medical Ethics, Willmar Community College, Fall, 1983.
Conducted Workshops: Revelation Revolution: Churches on the Internet -
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Fall, 1997 and Winter 1998.
Conducted Workshops: Revelation Revolution: Churches on the Internet -
MN UMC Annual Conference Sessions, 1995-99.
Interned at and Lectured on Medical Ethics, Concern for Dying, New York
Served as Graduate Assistant for "The Church in
the Urban Context," Union Theological Seminary in New York City, 1977-79.
Taught courses in Adult Education, The Riverside Church,
New York City, 1972-80.
Counseled with and taught Harlem youth in a religious
education program, The Riverside Church, New York City, 1972-80.
Student-taught "Religious Ethics and Social Issues,"
The Masters School, Dobbs Ferry, NY, 1973-74.
Basketball Coach, Cottage Grove Athletic Association, Shooting Stars 5th-6th grade girls (including my daughter, Emmy) 2010-2011; 7th-8th Grade Girls 2011-12.
Assistant Basketball Coach, Cottage Grove Athletic Association, 2009-2010 (Undefeated Season 10-0 and Conference Champs in girls 5th and 6th grade division - nice trophy, girls! Emmy, my daughter, played on the team as the tallest player and great defender, rebounder and she scored!). See team page on Facebook.
Serve as accountant for Cradle of Wings Productions, 2006 to present.
Published "SaintSaver" (A Macintosh Software
Program for Church Administration, Accounting and Recordkeeping), Fall, 1994.
Logged 2000+ hours providing PC/Mac Hardware/Software Technical Support.
Served as Chair of Urban Ministries Section, Board of
Global Ministries, United Methodist Church, Minnesota Annual Conference,
1989-1993; Board member, 1984-1993; Secretary, 1991-1993.
Served as Chair of the Board, Disability Awareness Ministries,
Directed United Methodist Golf Camp for Junior and Senior High youth for ten years at Northern Pines Camp.
Served on Task Force for Ministry Development, La Puerta
Abierta UMC, St. Paul, MN, 1989-91.
Served on Board, Department of Indian Work, St. Paul
Area Council of Churches, 1988-1993.
Served as Chair of Downtown Resident Needs Committee, St. Paul Downtown
Community Development Council, 1988-91.
Served as Director of Economic and Social Justice, Board
of Church and Society, United Methodist Church, Minnesota Annual Conference,
Served on Board, St. Paul Area Council of Churches, 1986-91.
Served as Convenor, Downtown St. Paul Clergy Association,
Produced a Cable TV series on worship resources, Channel
34, Cable Access, St. Paul, MN, 1985-86.
Served on the Board, Conference Council on Youth Ministry,
United Methodist Church, Minnesota Annual Conference, 1982-84.
Served on the District Council on Ministry as Youth Ministry
Coordinator, Northwest District, United Methodist Church, Minnesota Annual
Produced a multi-media presentation "I Love New
York: Ministry in the City," Tri-State Media Ministry, Performed in the Citicorp Center at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, New York City,
Organized community action programs, Child and Family
Justice Project, National Council of Churches, New York City, 1978-79.
Preached a sermon series for WRVR-FM, New York City,
Portrayed role of John Witherspoon on WNEW-TV, New York
Served as Assistant Director of Media Services, Union Theological
Seminary in New York City, 1972-79.
Provided research and technical work for an award-winning
(CINE Golden Eagle) documentary on Union Theological Seminary in New York
Assisted in visits and programming for prisons, hospitals,
mental health facilities and other public clients - Hospital Audiences, Inc., New York City, 1972-74.
Awarded distinction of Who's Who In American Colleges and Universities, West
Virginia Wesleyan College, 1970.
Awarded the Religious Leadership Award, West Virginia Wesleyan College, 1971.
Awarded the Wesleyan Medal, West Virginia Wesleyan College, 1971.
Awarded membership in Omicron Delta Kappa, National College Leadership Honorary, 1971.
Awarded Membership in Psi Chi, National Honor Society in Psychology, West
Virginia Wesleyan College, 1970.
Member of Phi Sigma Epsilon Fraternity, 1967-71.
Wrote feature articles for Pharos Newspaper, West Virginia Wesleyan College, 1970-71.
Hosted a religion and social ethics commentary program, news reporter, DJ, Engineer, Sports Reporter, WVWC-FM, Buckhannon, WV, 1969-71.
Interned in a suburban church, Glendale, West Virginia,
Served as President, Religious Life Council, West Virginia Wesleyan
Earned a Radiotelephone Third Class License, Broadcast Endorsement, Federal Communications Commission, 1969.
Served as Sports Editor and Columnist, Buckhannon-Republican Delta, Buckhannon, WV, 1967.
Here I am at 17 (at the right) as Junior Class President, Triadelphia High School, 1966.
Awarded Membership in National Honor Society, Triadelphia High School, 1966,
Awarded Membership in International Quill and Scroll Society, Triadelphia High School, 1966-67.
Awarded Membership in International Thespian Society, Triadelphia High School, 1967.
Served as Member of Masquers (Drama Club) and performed in plays, Triadelphia High School, 1966-67.
Served as President of the Forum (Debate Club), Triadelphia High School,
Served on Yearbook and Newspaper Staff, Triadelphia High School, 1966-67.
Played on school teams for Football, Basketball and Track, Triadelphia
High School, 1964-65.
Played on school basketball teams in grades sixth through ninth, 1959-1964.
I was a Star Boy Scout, closing in on Eagle, when I withdrew because religious attendance was required and I was not attending church regularly. How ironic that I became a pastor.
Worked at Oglebay Park, Wheeling, WV, 1962-70 in several different jobs including golf driving range and par-three jeep driver, ski shop cashier, lift operator, customer relations representative and pool life guard.
Worked at Wheeling Stamping, Wheeling, WV, 1968-70 on the assembly line creating plastic bottles and caps.
Confirmed, Christ United Methodist Church, Wheeling,
WV, 1965 and member of youth group.
Baptized, West Bridgeport Methodist Church, Bridgeport,
Ohio, 1949 - where my family, my grandparents, aunt and uncle were very active members.
Here I am at right, not long after my baptism picture: "I'm gonna clean up this town!"
Growing up in provincial West Virginia, I longed to travel until satisfied - which came eventually. Ten years in New York City helped to satisfy my thirst for seeing the rest of the world. During those years I also spent many summer days in Maine, Paris and other parts of France. For four months, I crisscrossed Europe and the British Isles. Warm days in the Florida and Arizona sunshine were a welcome escape from long northern winters. Pilgrimages to play the Old Course at St. Andrews and Pebble Beach (2 of 3 courses in the annual AT&T tournament) enabled me to experience the majesty of these holy places of golf. Miracles of nature touched me deeply on trips to the coast of Oregon, Virginia and North Carolina as well as New Orleans, San Diego and Phoenix. Driving around the country from east to west and north to south provided opportunities to marvel at the expanse of the US and the diversity of cultures. Lately I am content to stay nearer home and cherish the memories of travel without the inconveniences.
Want to see info on my hobbies? CLICK HERE
Home Phone in Cottage Grove: (651) 756-8611 - Cell Phone (651) 329-7829