Celebration as Pastor Nate completes seminary

Pastor Nate Hedin-Schmidt

     Bethlehem Lutheran Church celebrated on Sunday, June 3, as Pastor Nathaniel Hedin-Schmidt graduates from seminary school.

     Pastor Nate will received his Masters of Divinity degree during a service and ceremony at the Master’s Institute in White Bear Lake, MN on Saturday, June 2, and Bethlehem held an open house celebration for him on Sunday.

     Pastor Nate has served as full-time pastor at Bethlehem for three years, as he arrived in May of 2015. He says seminary has taken about four years of study, with some time off in between. He says he’s the first student the Master’s Institute has had who served as a full-time pastor while also being a full-time student. He says it’s been interesting to navigate all his responsibilities – including writing two or three papers and reading two to four books each week.

     When he came to Bethlehem, Pastor Nate says his goal was to go through the three-year lectionary rotation before making any changes to his preaching style. He says he’s really been trying to focus on the traditions at Bethlehem. “How can we take that identity of who we already are so that we can be propelled into the future?” asked Pastor Nate. “That’s where we’re at right now – really examining our identity; focusing on what we feel our focus is in a Body of Christ, what’s our vision to attain it, and being open and available for all members of the community.”

     Now that he’s finished with seminary, Pastor Nate is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Liz, and their nine-month-old daughter, Evelyn. Nate and Liz will also take part in a musical production of Pirates of Penzance this July at Brickstreet Theater in Forest City. “After I finish something, it’s always off to the next thing,” said Pastor Nate.