Where are they now?
The pastors who completed the St. Paul residency program during the past 11 years are now leading throughout the country. They recently gave an update for the Lilly Endowment, which helps support the initiative. Here are snapshots of their current ministries.
Pastor Lorin Darst (2006-2008)
Macksburg Lutheran Church | Canby, OR
Recently, the congregation supported my travel to North Dakota to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, alongside over 400 other clergy and faith leaders. It was a powerful time of learning and growing for me, and we have had engaging discussions since I returned.
Pastor Elizabeth Hiller (2006-2008)
Dilworth Lutheran Church | Dilworth, MN
The hallmark of our congregation is homebased ministries. For milestones like first communion or confirmation, every youth attends with a trusted adult. We use this intense mentorship model for learning and service. Kids and adults learn together and we are a stronger church for it.
Pastor Lowell Michelson (2006-2008)
Lord of Life Lutheran Church | West Chester, OH
Hospitality has always been important in my life and ministry, but was accelerated to a new level under the tutelage of the people of St. Paul. Now I am being shaped by the warmth and generosity of several cultures in this growing international crossroads of universities and other global organizations.
Pastor Ann Rosendale (2008-2010)
Augustana University | Sioux Falls, SD
We often speak about campus ministry at Augustana as a “laboratory” for student participation and leadership. Every worship service engages new people. Ordained ministers share the pulpit with students, faculty, and staff. Living out the Christian value at Augustana is the work of the whole community.
Pastor Matthew Poock (2008-2010)
St. John’s Lutheran Church | Evansville, WI
My years at St. Paul are close to my heart, and the patterns I learned with you all impact my ministry constantly. I still keep the practice of visiting people in their homes and workplaces. Knowing names, learning stories, and caring about people are the heartbeat of my call.
Pastor Heather (Spears) Geest (2008-2010)
Faith Lutheran Church | Eldridge, IA
Relationships are at the heart of my ministry. My greatest joy comes from spending time with people. The areas where I operate out of my greatest gifts are pastoral care, Christian education, and funeral ministry. I love to connect with people over their stories, visiting with them in their homes or the hospital, or after church.
Pastor Katy Warren (2011-2013)
St. Paul Lutheran Church | Davenport, IA
I know my best work is done when I can empower others to take on new roles or experiences. Sometimes, it would be much easier to accomplish a task by myself. But, the best ministry is done, in my opinion, when others are encouraged to take risks, try new things, create connections, and meet new people.
Pastor Dan Kuckuck (2011-2013)
St. Stephen Lutheran Church | Urbandale, IA
This is going to sound funny: my best ministry practice is not doing ministry. I’ve been tempted to always be thinking about the never-ending to-do list. Whenever I get pulled into doing that, the best thing for me to do is “something else.” I run. I cook. I spend time with my wife and daughter. All these things strengthen my ministry.
Pastor Amanda Weinkauf (2013-2015)
Trinity Lutheran Church | Owatonna, MN
My current call is at a church that has a large staff, and many enthusiastic volunteers. There is a lot of humor, respect, and trust in the workplace. We are a good team, and we share a vision for our ministry. I feel like I am where I am supposed to be, and I give a lot of credit to the residency program.
Pastor Chad McKenna (2013-2015)
St. Mark Lutheran Church | Rockford, IL
One of the great insights I had during my time at St. Paul was that I work best on a team. There are so many people who are invested in this place, and it is a joy to work with our church leadership. I am grateful to have a friend in my senior pastor, Mark Hagen, who may have more trust in me than I have in myself.