2022 Renaissance Awards: Greg Billberg
Dec. 6, 2022
By Emily Geris
Rev. Greg Billberg's first interactions with Knute Nelson began by visiting residents in his role as pastor of First Lutheran Church.
Greg has recently retired after a 17-year career as a pastor in Alexandria.
One of the most unique and profound ways Greg has enhanced Knute Nelson's mission is through his guidance around spiritual care programming.
"Over the years, leadership at Knute Nelson has reached out when they had a question or concern about how to provide spiritual care;' Greg says. "For me, it was always a rewarding thing to be a part of that conversation. I appreciated that they were willing to reach out to the community. They were willing to ask people whose primary area is spiritual care to assist them and to help make Knute Nelson even better:'
Greg has assisted Knute Nelson in many areas regarding spiritual care - including worship, questions about chaplaincy, and how to achieve excellence in partnering with area churches to provide spiritual care to those Knute Nelson serves.
Mind, Body, and Spirit
Greg's commitment to, and passion for, whole-person care has significantly shaped how spiritual care is provided at Knute Nelson.
"I think a lot of times we pay close attention to caring for our body, but the whole person is mind, body, and spirit;' says Greg. "We need to care for the health of our spirits, our mental health, and our bodies. I've been so impressed with Knute Nelson's attention to spiritual care:'
Greg's involvement at Knute Nelson has helped us live out our core value of Christian Heritage.
"Knute Nelson caregivers provide care for the body, the mind, and the spirit of those they serve;' Greg says. "Some other care facilities could potentially eliminate spiritual care because of costs or think that it's not important. Yet Knute Nelson has always stayed to its mission and its core values of enriching the lives of those we serve. And they do not shy away from enriching and caring for the spiritual health of all their residents and all their clients. I'm very proud of that:'
Time Is Our Greatest Gift
Greg has given very generously of his time and expertise in helping Knute Nelson enhance and refine spiritual care programming. He continues to give with his service on the Grand Arbor Board of Governors and Knute Nelson Corporate Board.
"Time really is the greatest gift we can ever give another person or an organization;' Greg says.
"Our time is so valuable these days, and I know that Knute Nelson counts on many to give of their time, their talent, their abilities, and their treasures to make Knute Nelson run and be as successful as it is.'
As Greg discerns what is next for him in his new chapter of life, receiving the Knute Nelson Renaissance Award has given him much to think about.
"Receiving this award really has made me think about how I've been involved and what the future holds;' Greg says. "It inspires me to want to continue to find new ways to be involved, to volunteer, to give, and continue to be a part of the Knute Nelson community.'
ABOUT THE AWARD:
In 2013, we established the Knute Nelson Renaissance Award to recognize an individual, or individuals, whose leadership and support has been instrumental to the organization. Recipients exemplify the mission and beliefs of Knute Nelson. They have endeavored through word and deed, in both their professional and personal lives, to be agents of social change, support aging services, and demonstrate philanthropy with their love for humankind and community. The Renaissance period was a time of rebirth – political, economic, religious, artistic, and intellectual. Like that era, this award represents the diversity of interests and the goal of social change within the context and values of the Knute Nelson organization.