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Feathering His Nest

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the moonshine of meeting deadlines,

and the starshine of Victoria.

8661 Deer Run Dr. * Victoria


The Victoria GAZETTE

Victoria’s Corner Bar.  Nightly Specials and Menus.  952-443-9944

by Sue Orsen/The Victoria Gazette

         When Gail Berger happens upon a perfect piece of decor for The Blessing House, preferably something old with a history and a story, she says it is “God feathering His nest.”  That’s how Gail explains a lot of things, a lot of life.

         Whether it’s another end table for another cup of coffee, another figurine or sculpture, another pillow or pottery or painting, it’s for The Blessing House.  It’s for God.  It’s for others.  It’s for the Kingdom.

         “God owns everything,” said Gail.  “We just re-arrange.  When I die, everything is in the Kingdom.  We don’t own anything anyway.  I’m getting it ready for when I’m gone.”

         How did the place get its name?  “God gave it to me,” she replied.  “This is how I bless the world.  You can’t bless the world with what you don’t have.  You can only bless the world with what you have and what you do.”

         The Blessing House is a 6,500 square foot family home on four beautiful acres on the western shores of Lake Wassermann in Victoria.  It’s also a nonprofit and it’s commercial.  There’s a big entry and a big door.  It’s handicapped accessible and there’s an elevator.

         It’s where people find blessings in gatherings large and small, or alone, for nearly any occasion, for friendship in the Kingdom of God, as Gail says.

         “Sixty-five churches come here,” she said.  “People hold training meetings and board meetings here.  Women’s groups, prayer groups, support groups, artists, and people from all cultural backgrounds come here -- African, Korean, and Hispanic churches.”

         And Gail lives at The Blessing House!   Her children and grandchildren visit her there.  Much of the world seems to stop and visit for a while at The Blessing House.

         Because of her previous family home on Lake Waconia, which Gail had turned into a blessing house after her two husbands died, Gail says she knew how to design this one.

         “I knew the spaces that everybody loved,” she said.  “And so there’s a long table that overlooks the lake through floor to ceiling windows.  The open kitchen is part of the great room with its large fireplace, comfy chairs, and grand piano.  Many spaces are for conversation, quiet reading, or visiting with a cup of coffee or glass of wine.  We are really interested in beauty, harmony, and comfort.”


         Gail was born on November 11th, 1942.  Students of history will recognize the date as exactly two years after the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940, not to mention exactly two dozen years after the Armistice that ended World War I in 1918.  Gail’s life compares to them:  She is powerful like a storm, and peaceful like an armistice.

         She was born in the State of New Mexico to the Reverend Henry and Marian Gaertner.  “My dad’s first call as a Lutheran pastor was in Carlsbad, New Mexico,” she said.  “My dad came to be the Lutheran pastor at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Richfield, Minnesota.  That’s when 66th Street was the end of the world.  I was the oldest of five children born in five years and so right from the beginning I learned how to be responsible.  My parents moved to Rochester after all of us were out of the nest.  Mom became a hairdresser there.”

         After graduation in 1960 from Richfield High School, Gail attended Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.  “It’s the largest Lutheran university in the country,” she said.  “Dad chose it for me.  I wanted to go to the University of Minnesota with my friends.”

         Gail’s degree was in Education.  “I taught 6th grade in Bloomington for six years,” she said.  “That’s my gifting, teaching.”

         While teaching in Bloomington she met and married Bob Berger in 1965.   “Bob was a professor of business at the University of Minnesota when we met,” said Gail.  “A year after we were married, he started the tax business.”    They had three sons -- Kyle, Ryan, and Tyson. 

         “We moved to Waconia in 1973 -- we’ve always been Minnesota people -- and lived there 36 years,” she said.   “The boys grew up in Waconia.  I was a homemaker.  My husband did not want me to work outside the home so I got involved in the life of Waconia.”

         Gail served on the Waconia School Board for six years, became a member of Faith Lutheran Church, and joined the Island View Country Club.  It was also busy on the homefront.  “Because of the boys and their friends, it was like an Open House every day,” she said.






October 2017

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