Interim Pastor Duane Larson is a native of southern California who graduated from Luther Seminary and holds a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Graduate Theological Union. Pastor Larson most recently served as the President of Wartburg Theological Seminary from 1999-2010. Prior to that he served as an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the seminary in Gettysburg, PA and in parish ministry for almost 15 years in California. He was ordained in 1979.
Pastor Larson attended the high school famous as the source for “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, is joyfully married to Joen (yes, that is the correct spelling) and has two children and four grandchildren; the fifth is on the way. He likes to sing and riff with others on one of his guitars and to play with his West Highland Terrier named Fiddich. In a moment of honesty, Pastor Larson admits that while he likes the “Big Ten”, he is really keen about the PAC 12. Pastor Larson also notes that he “loves congregational ministry and is eager to see the local church love its community so that it will vibrate wonderfully into the next generation.”
Pam Larabee-Zierath, an associate in ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, has been Minister of Congregational Life since 2008. She received a Master’s degree of Theological Studies from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and a certificate for contemplative prayer group leadership from Shalem Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Former parishes she has served include:
Pam lives near West Liberty, Iowa, in an 1890's farmhouse with seven cats and husband, David (of 35+ years), who tends to the family’s two-acre prairie grass planting. Daughter Jenny lives in Manhattan. Pam like to read, knit, watch birds, and walk and pray on prairie.
Director of Music Ministries, Michael Zemek hails from Minnesota where he attended Gustavus Adolphus College and taught secondary choral music before completing his doctorate in music education at the University of Illinois. His "day job" is that of coordinator of music education and co-chair of the Music Department at Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, where he conducts several choirs, teaches music methods and conducting courses, and supervises music education students. In addition to being a frequent guest conductor and clinician, Michael has published several articles and been recognized for his work involving youth as musical leaders in worship. During the summer months he has served as program director for Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival as well as Young Lutherans Sing sponsored by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Michael's wife, Sangeetha Rayapati, is head of the voice faculty at Augustana, and together their lives are surrounded by the music of their three daughters, Annika, Karenna and Linnea.
Ruth Hurlburt, organist, is a native of Montana where she earned a bachelor of music degree in organ from the University of Montana and worked with the Montana Arts Council. She has lived in the Iowa City area since 1983 when she arrived to study organ, and subsequently earned master of fine arts in organ from The University of Iowa. Since then, she has served area churches and has been an active member, officer, and recitalist with the River Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In addition to continuing to learn more organ repertoire, Ruth’s professional interests focus on liturgy, hymnody, spiritual growth, and congregational song. Ruth is employed in Human Resources at The University of Iowa and enjoys implementing and administering services for faculty and staff. She enjoys swimming, reading, and traveling with her husband, Russ.
Brian Middleswarth , Office Manager, is a native of Charlotte, NC. He received a Master of Arts in Religion from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and is an Associate in Ministry in the ELCA. He has served three congregations over the last 15 years in Iowa, most recently serving First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, IA as their Director of Teen Ministry. Brian also serves on the planning team for WIYLDE, a youth leadership school based at Luther College. In his spare time he enjoys reading and woodworking.
April 23, 2014
A Workshop about Bullying
Wed. April 23 @ 7:00 pm
Yom Hashoah Service
Sunday, April 27 @ 10:30 am
with Agudas Achim Synagogue
Sunday adult forum
Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP)
Check the calendar below for a listing of this week's events.