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John D. Schwehn named final candidate for Associate Pastor

The following announcement was sent to CtK members on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. 


After months of prayerful meetings, conversations, interviews, and decision-making, we are excited to announce our final candidate for Associate Pastor: John D. Schwehn. On Monday, Jan. 18, Call Committee chair Marlys Melius, with help from Pastor Peter and Council member Robert Moreno, presented John as the final candidate for Associate Pastor to the Congregational Council. Following some dialogue and deliberation, the Council unanimously affirmed the process and decision of the Call Committee.

CTK picture
Pastor John Schwehn with wife Anna Rohde

Meet Pastor John

A lifelong Lutheran, John Schwehn was born and raised in Valparaiso, IN. In 2004, he moved to Minnesota to attend St. Olaf College, where he majored in religion and American studies. While at St. Olaf, he was very active in music, touring around the country and globe with the St. Olaf Band and Orchestra. He brings a passion for music and the arts to his ministry. Another formative experience for John was the semester he spent studying abroad in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. John also worked as a camp counselor, serving for two summers at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp in Montana, where he enjoyed guiding groups of high school youth into the wilderness on backpacking trips.

After graduating from St. Olaf in 2008, John served as a volunteer in AmeriCorps and then as a cook at Holden Village, a Lutheran community and retreat center in the Cascade mountains of Washington state. He attended seminary at Yale Divinity School, where he was awarded the Charles S. Mersick prize by the Yale faculty for effective preaching. Since graduating from seminary, John served his internship year at Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park, MN and then served as an interim pastoral associate at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield, MN. Both of these experiences gave him opportunities to grow and lead congregational faith formation programs.

Called to ordained ministry in the ELCA, John is passionate about walking alongside God’s people as we deepen the integration between faith and daily life by gathering around the Word of God and the sacraments. He loves teaching and accompanying young people as they grow in faith, and finds great joy in listening to and learning from the wisdom and stories of all generations in the church.

John lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Anna Rohde (they were married in 2010), where Anna is a middle school English teacher. When they’re not working, you can find them cooking up something delicious and gathering around the table with family and friends. They also love reading and riding their bikes around the city when it’s warm outside.


What's next

1. Meet and greet with Pastor John | Saturday, Feb. 13, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
CtK members will have the opportunity to meet Pastor John and his family informally on Saturday, Jan. 13.

2. The vote | Sunday, Feb. 14, 11:30 a.m.
After affirming the decision of the Call Committee, the Council also determined that the congregation vote for the new Associate Pastor would take place at the Annual Meeting on Feb. 14. The agenda of this meeting will also include passing of the 2016 Budget for Ministry, as well as the election of new members of the Congregational Council, Nominating, and Auditing Committees. Resources for this meeting will be made available by Feb. 7.

The Call Committee would like to thank the congregation for their recommendations and patience during this process of determining who to call for a new Associate Pastor. We hope everyone will be as excited as we are to work with someone who will help CtK build on its history of solid youth and family ministry and also help us move forward in other areas of faith formation and collective ministry.


Pastor Peter
on behalf of the Call Committee: Marlys Melius (Chairperson), Gail Gallagher, Nick Halverson, Pastor Peter Hanson, Robert Moreno, Annelise Scamehorn, and Dena Wheeler

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