Pastor Emmy Swedlund began serving Faith Lutheran Church in Morris as their new pastor on Sept. 20. Swedlund officially replaced Del Sanderson as the full-time pastor after several interim pastors served the congregation since he left.
Swedlund is actually not too far from home, growing up in Cottonwood, Minnesota. She went to school at Lakeview High School and then to college at Concordia in Moorhead. Her seminary studies were done at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
While attending college she was first planning to be a teacher. However as she took the courses she kept getting the feeling that it was not quite the right fit. She remembered the quote by Frederick Beuchner that goes “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
She liked the idea of sharing in the joy and good news of Jesus and also interacting with people of all ages. She realized that it was her source of deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger so she decided to go into the seminary.
Her first congregation was in Moorhead where she served for two years. She then served a congregation in Valley City, North Dakota for 12 years. Her choice to come to Morris was based on many things including the desire to be back in Minnesota.
Everything seemed to come together before she accepted the call. Her husband, Searle, was able to get a job with the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission with his office in Appleton. The couple was able to find a home in Morris for them and their four year old daughter, Sigrid. As the pieces fell into place, she knew it was the right decision to make.
With only a month of serving thus far, Pastor Swedlund is still getting to know her congregation and the community but what she is seeing, she likes very much. She said that she has a great staff at the church and they have a very active Fushion Ministry for teens. The Sunday School collects and shares money and gifts for local and global charities and there is an active quilting and knitting group.
Pastor Swedlund leads one service each Sunday and people can also watch on their church web page. She is planning to incorporate a Monday morning hang out during October at the Common Cup in Morris from 11a.m. – 12:30 p.m. It is a time when people can just stop by and visit or even hang out for a while.
She hopes to approach her ministry with eyes, hands and heart wide open and see what God can do. To this community she wants to say that she is looking forward to getting to know everyone and join in celebrating what is good here.