Pastor Julie leaving St. Johns Lutheran
Pastor Julie Smith will preach her last sermon at St. Johns Lutheran Church on Sunday, April 4. She has accepted a brand new position with the National Lutheran Churches in Mission for Christ (LCMC) Board as the Coordinator for Districts and Fellowship Groups. St.. Johns and St. Paul Lutheran Churches in Springfield are LCMC congregations.
The main focus of her new job will be on strengthening existing districts and fellowships in LCMC and encouraging congregations to be part of one of them. “As LCMC has grown it has become more clear that real networking, accountability and fellowship requires a more regional focus. Helping to foster that will be one of my main responsibilities,” Pastor Julie said in a recent interview. “In addition, I will have the opportunity to work with LCMC’s international congregations and global mission partners. I will also work with our National Service Coordinator in keeping our core theological commitments at the forefront of the work of the association,” she added.
Pastor Julie began as interim pastor at St. Johns in Springfield on January 1, 2012 and was asked to stay as their full-time pastor. She was installed on July 1, 2012. “Springfield is a great place to live. I’m a small town person, so it was an easy fit. St. Johns was so welcoming to me it was impossible not to stay, even though that was not the plan when I started,” she said.
She has been in pastoral ministry for 23 years. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1994 with a double major in History and Religion and from Luther Seminary in 1998 with a Master of Divinity degree. Before coming to Springfield, she served congregations in Clarkfield and Bock, Minnesota and preached six Sundays at a new mission start up congregation in Huron, South Dakota.
Julie has enjoyed her time serving and getting to know the local congregation. But besides all the sermons, worship services, weddings, baptisms, funerals, classes, meetings and visits, her greatest passion is working with the youth.
She is the co-founder of St. Paul Lutheran Seminary that serves LCMC. She is currently teaching a preaching class to students in India. A recent LCMC newsletter states, “Julie loves the opportunity to teach, whether that’s leading silly Bible skits with first graders or giving seminary students some pointers in preaching.”
Pastor Julie was also Program Director and then Executive Director at Camp Onomia in Onamia, Minnesota where her passion for working with young people flourished in the Bible Camp setting.
See complete article in this week's edition of the Springfield Advance-Press.