Pastor Christian joins Peace Lutheran, offers healing to community
Peace Lutheran Church of Grass Valley is welcoming Pastor Christian Schweter as their new permanent pastor. Peace Lutheran has been without a settled pastor for a couple of years while in the process of what is known as “calling” a new pastor. Although worship continued (over the last year via YouTube) with Interim Pastor Bill Wong, it was a big Christmas present to the Church, when Pastor Christian answered the call at the end of 2020.
Pastor Christian had to travel a long way to join the Peace Lutheran community. Coming from the small town of Magnetawan (Indiginous Algonquin for “swiftly flowing waters”) in Ontario, Canada, obtaining an R1 Religious Worker Visa in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic was not an easy process. Pastor Christian was finally granted that visa and arrived in May; however, his wife, Sabine, is still battling the process in order to join him here.
Pastor Christian wasn’t always a small town boy. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, he was educated, ordained, met and married wife, Sabine, and together they had four children in that country. A church in Toronto, Canada, was in need of a pastor who was fluent in both German and English. Pastor Christian answered that call, eventually holding dual citizenship in both countries. Seeking a quieter environment for their family, he and Sabine stayed in Canada, but moved to beautiful Magnetawan, population under 1,400, except during the summer vacation season. Two of his grown children and their families now live in California; that is how he came to be interested in the call from Peace Lutheran Church.
Nevada County will be a great fit once Pastor Christian and Sabine have been able to find a home and settle in. They love the outdoors — and Nevada County has no shortage of beautiful spaces. They love to hike — all levels of hiking are on the doorstep of the Sierra. They love ballroom-dancing — any suggestions? In Canada, Pastor Christian was a Director of the Agriculture Society and involved in the Fall Fair — we have a strong agricultural community and local fair. They love Christmas — nothing compares to Christmas in Nevada County. They are also looking to share their German heritage with the Community.
What style of preacher is Pastor Christian? He describes himself as “Conservative, but totally (almost) open, as long as Faith, God and Christ are in the center, not our own preferences.” Pastor Christian wants to reach out to the neighborhood and community. He is looking forward to working with other churches in the area.
“We can do so much more together,” said Pastor Christian. “It is not a competition to ‘get’ more sheep/souls. It is about building the kingdom of God, not just filling pews. We are reaching out, not because we need fresh blood, money or more volunteers, but because God’s love and grace are amazing. This is not about us and a church, but about connecting people with God.”
Acknowledging his mainly older congregation, Pastor Christian is focused on leading all in realizing a vibrant spiritual life and sharing their skills and purpose. Who says we can’t be an active and lively congregation with older people?
He sees our slow return from COVID-19 restrictions as an opportunity to hit the “reset button” for the Church — to look at “why and how we do things.” However, he also sees a need for healing from the last 18 months.
This is why Peace Lutheran Church will have a special “Covid Memorial Service” on Sunday, June 20, at 10 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church located at 828 W. Main Street in Grass Valley. There will be music, prayer and an opportunity to express your grief and loss and give it into God’s caring hands. We will raise one another up in hope for our future and our community.
All are welcome. If you or someone you know would like to attend, please RSVP to the church office at 530-273-9631. Masks will be required.
Source: Peace Lutheran Church
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