Welcome Pastor Dean
Abiding Savior has welcomed Pastor Dean as our interim pastor. He is here to help us through the call processes and guide us in the interim.
From Pastor Dean
“Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; God's love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Psalm 107:1-2.
As we move forward together into an intentional interim at Abiding Savior, I'd like to tell you a bit of my story. I am a native of Storden, MN, where I graduated from high school in 1969. I grew up on a farm and I am of Norwegian descent. However, the only Norwegian words I was taught were “Ya” and “Ufda!” Intermixed within my college years was my service as an U.S.A.F. Aeromedic during the Vietnam Era, Grand Forks, ND. Upon returning to college, I graduated from South Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, May, l976. Before leaving SDSU for seminary, I earned a Master’s of Education in Guidance and Counseling. I completed this in 1977, then moved on to Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, where I received my Master’s of Divinity in June 1981.
Congregational areas I have served during my thirty-eight and a half years of ordained ministry have included the locales of: Viroqua, Franklin, Franksville, and Mukwonago, WI. Other training and work experience includes: Bible Camp counselor then assistant director before seminary; for 3rd year seminary training = Chaplain Resident at Connecticut Valley Psychiatric Hospital, Middletown, CT; graduate of the Marriage and Family Training Institute, Milwaukee, WI; Pastoral Counselor and Family Life Educator for Lutheran Social Services; term study of Dr. Ed Friedman's understanding of Bowenian Family Therapy and it's application to Congregational Life. And, I believe, I am still one of the few ordained ELCA ministers to be certified in Youth and Family Ministry. For the past nine years I have been providing intentional interim ministry in the Greater Milwaukee Synod and in the South-Central Synod. My last interim site was once a thriving ministry in the Greater Milwaukee Synod. Great facilities, plenty of parking but worship had deteriorated from 380's Sunday average to 110 during a pastoral stint of eleven years. It is now experiencing an exciting time of redevelopment - established during my interim and is being greatly expanded by the gifted leadership of their new experienced pastor. Common statements I received from folk are that I helped create a sense of excitement, helped establish strategies and protocol for more effective ministry, while guiding folk to discern possibilities for the future. And, as interims are expected to work on, part of this process includes addressing particular issues that need to be dealt with – so that the congregation may move more hopefully and effectively into the future. Even though I have, at times, “ruffled some feathers” in striving to help congregations move forward - I have been blessed to be a part of processes that helped my long term congregations, and interim's, to actually stabilize and to grow – in numbers, stewardship and member participation. As Scripture often reminds: the prophets sent by God, even Jesus himself, “ruffled feathers.” If or when this happens, I invite you to visit with me personally. More importantly, I invite all to participate fully in the Discovery Visits which allows you to share your stories.
My family members include my wife Karen, who also is “retired” but is still doing interim's. She was a co-pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Oconomowoc, WI, for twelve years before retiring. Karen has more hobbies than I, but both of us enjoy hiking, biking and camping in our RV. Son, Micah, manages a “temp agency.” Daughter, Erika, is a registered nurse. Both families include two children.
I thank God for the blessings of God’s grace and purposes, and for the blessings of family and purposeful ministry. I look forward to a shared, mutual ministry as interim – based on God's hope, love, and purposes in Christ. Pastor Dean M. Natterstad
P.S. I encourage all to read the summary of interim tasks provided in the Greater Milwaukee Manual.