Good news to share!
+Bishop Dee Pederson
The Rev. Dr. Troy Pflibsen has accepted the call from the ELCA to serve as the new Director for Evangelical Mission in Southwestern Minnesota. We are grateful for the many persons who considered and applied for this call, to the ELCA/Synod Interview Team for their prayerful discernment, and to ELCA churchwide for extending this call. Pastor Troy has served as Co-Pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Litchfield since 2013. His work as a DEM will focus on congregational vitality, outreach, mission developments, coaching, and stewardship. The DEM continues to serve as a connector across the synod and with ELCA churchwide.
Pastor Troy began life in a small town on the plains of north central Iowa. When fourteen he moved with his family to the big city and mountains of Colorado Springs, Colorado. During these years he returned each summer to Iowa to work at Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp, near Story City. Yes, he left Colorado in the summer to return to Iowa . . . It worked out well though, because at Riverside he met his wife Carolyn, and it was there that he first heard the call to ministry. He successfully ignored the call for a few years and began his collegiate work in the engineering school at the University of Colorado at Boulder. God eventually won and he graduated with degrees in psychology and recreation.
Troy and Carolyn were married in 1987 and then moved to the lakes and woods of northern Minnesota where Troy served as a youth director and camp program director. Then it was off to the mighty Mississippi and Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. This was not enough study so more graduate work on the shores of Lake Michigan at Marquette University, where Troy eventually earned a Ph. D. in historical theology. During that time, Troy served 3 interims in the Milwaukee area while working on his Ph.D. at Marquette. Their children, Elizabeth and John, were down during those years.
Together Troy and Carolyn served three parishes in rural Iowa – in Hawkeye (just south of Decorah), McCallsburg (near Ames), and in Belmond (southwest of Mason City). After that, Pr. Troy and his family returned to the lakes, trees, and farm fields of Minnesota, where Pr. Troy has served as co-pastor at Zion in Litchfield since 2013.
As part of his ministry at Zion, Pr. Troy was privileged to build a partnership with LSS to create a production kitchen that will regularly feed hundreds of seniors and children in our region. The kitchen just opened in August of this year. He has also been privileged to be a part of LFI initiative in our synod, working with seminary and synod leadership to deepen our focus on God’s presence in all the world and our call to serve all in our communities and neighborhood.
On December 6th, Pr. Troy will begin serving as ELCA Director for Evangelical Mission (D.E.M.) deployed in the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA. Looking ahead to this new call, Pr. Troy sees it as “an expanded opportunity to do the ministry I am already supporting in the parish. It is about building partnerships and deepening our awareness of God’s work and our ministry in our community and neighborhood.”