“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Hello everyone! It has been such a blessing to worship alongside you all, and I look forward to all that God has in store for us in our ministry together.
It would feel wrong to start anywhere other than the most important thing in the world to me; my family. Later this month, my wife Anna and I will be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. She shows me the gospel every day through her unconditional love, her amazing support and encouragement, and through her passion for serving the world around her. Anna works for the State of Montana, serving vulnerable adults and the elderly. She is an avid reader and loves anything outdoors. She also is the most amazing mother that our daughter, Rose, could ask for. Rose is 14 months old, and it has been an absolute joy to watch her learn and grow. She loves making people laugh, dancing to whatever music is on, and animals (both living and her stuffies). Two of her favorite animals are our pets. We have an orange tabby cat named Leo who loves to cuddle and hunt any insect that dares to enter our house, and a high energy golden retriever named Riley who loves any person she has the opportunity to meet.
I am from Mahtomedi, Minnesota, (5 points to the first person who can correctly pronounce that city name), a small suburb of St. Paul. Growing up, my family really only went to church on Christmas and Easter, and it wasn’t until I lost a bet with God over a Green Bay Packers game that I started going to church on my own, but that’s a story for another time. Eventually I was asked to volunteer as a cabin leader for our annual confirmation camp, and it was there that the Holy Spirit brought my faith to life. From there, I volunteered in every event the Youth Ministry Department had to offer, and I spent two summers as St. Andrew’s Youth Ministry Intern. It was while I was serving in this position that I realized that sharing the unconditional love of our God with the world is who I was called to be, and I knew that Pastoral Ministry was what I was called to do. After graduating with my Associates of Arts Degree from Century College, I completed my undergraduate education at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN, with a major in Religious Studies. After a few years of managing a local Mexican Restaurant and later an Outback Steakhouse, I was accepted to Luther Seminary where I earned my Masters of Divinity. I was incredibly blessed to be placed in Billings, MT for my internship at Peace Lutheran Church and St. John’s United.
We fell in love with the people and the state of Montana during this time, and decided that this is where we were called to do ministry. I have spent the past year serving a part-time call with the wonderful people of First American Lutheran Church in Hardin, and I am overjoyed to be joining all of you in ministry now as well. When I am not at church, you will most likely find me cheering on the Packers or the Michigan Wolverines, listening to podcasts, or playing Dungeons and Dragons.
I truly feel so honored and fortunate to have the opportunity to walk alongside you all as we grow in our faith together. I have seen so much love, joy, and peace from you all in our short time together. I cannot wait to see where God leads and calls us as a community, and how we will share God’s love with one another, and the world around us.
God Bless, Pastor Josh