We want to share with you that Pr. Dee Pederson will be our next Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM). She will be starting on September 1.
Pr. Dee is an experienced and gifted pastor. She has served at Bethlehem Lutheran in St. Cloud for 31 years. In that time, she has served on local interfaith, conference, synod, and churchwide committees and task forces. She has also served on the ELCA Church Council and served as Chair of the LIFT Task Force (Living into the Future Together: Renewing the Ecology of the ELCA).
The role of DEM involves these key components:
- Deepen evangelical outreach
- Develop holistic stewardship practices
- Sharpen our synodical mission strategy
- Guide new mission starts
- Accompany mission renewal and redevelopments (forming new rural parishes falls into this category)
- Increase our capacity to cross barriers to share the gospel
- Serve as a public voice for our churchwide organization
We had a large pool of candidates. We had a significant number of very strong candidates who were interviewed. This made our discernment and decision both a privilege and challenge. We want to express our appreciation to everyone who was a candidate for their willingness to enter our process. We are thankful for the gifts Pr. Dee will bring to our work as a synod and staff.
I want to thank Pr. Dwaine Bruns and Vice President Gwen Arneson for their service on our search team. We were a part of a larger search team that also included several people on the churchwide staff. Pr. Dee’s letter of call comes from the churchwide council.
We invite your prayers for Pr. Dee, her family, and the people of Bethlehem in this time of transition.