Rev. Jason Cunningham Called as Pastor

May 2, 2013

Greetings from your Pastor Nominating Committee,

Last month I told you that we were well into phase four of our four phase process of finding a new Pastor. Well, I wasn’t lying. On Sunday, April 28, 2013, the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Luverne, voted 171 (yes) and 1 (no) to approve the nomination of Reverend Jason Cunningham to fill our vacant pulpit. By accepting the ‘Terms of Call’, Pastor Jason, he will become our new Teaching Elder (Pastor) effective June 9, 2013.

Pastor Jason Cunningham visits with Linda Moeller at fellowship meal

Pastor Jason Cunningham visits with Linda Moeller at fellowship meal

Pastor Jason currently lives in Brookings, South Dakota, and is serving the First Presbyterian Church there. He has served the First Presbyterian Church in Brookings for the past eight (8) years, and First Presbyterian Church, Amboy, MN, for five (5) years prior to his call to Brookings. Pastor Jason grew up in Worthington, Minnesota, and attended the Westminster Presbyterian Church located in Worthington. He attended and graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, with majors in Political Science and Accounting (Pre-Law emphasis). Pastor Jason attended and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity in 2000. He enjoys reading, bicycling, baseball, and spending time with his family.

DSCN1163Pastor Jason has a beautiful family including his talented wife, Annalisa, and their four children, Carissa 12, Graham 10, Pierce 8, and Colberg 3. The Pastor Nominating Committee was impressed with the musical talent that they all possess. All of the children are inquisitive and had a lot of questions for committee members when we had the pleasure of meetingthem and touring the church.


Pastor Jason and Annalisa Cunningham greet the people  after the Congregational Meeting

Pastor Jason and Annalisa Cunningham greet the people after the Congregational Meeting

Annalisa was born in Milwaukie, Oregon and was raised in Wasilla, Alaska. She returned to the lower 48 states to attend Augustana College where she met Jason. Annalisa majored inbiology and nursing. During their time in Brookings, Annalisa continued her education and received her Master’s Degree in Nursing and is currently a Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP). She currently works part-time at the Sanford Clinic in Brookings. Annalisa enjoys several hobbies including music, piano, cooking, gardening, and sewing. We were impressed with how approachable she is and how easy she is to visit with. Lastly, Annalisa is teaching her children how to play the piano and gives piano lessons in her spare time.

DSCN1169-BCarissa, age 12, is completing her 6thgrade. She is considered the athlete of the family and enjoys sports and outdoor activities. She enjoys baseball, softball, and basketball. She also enjoys baking cupcakes, actually anything related to cupcakes. She plays the French horn.

Graham, age 10, is completing his 5thgrade. He loves to read and is a big fan of Tolkien’s “the Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings.” Graham is currently in Boy Scouts. He enjoys Lego’s and is learning to play the Trombone.

Pierce, age 8, is completing his 3rdgrade. He is considered the jokester of the family. Pierce is learning how to play chess and is very interested in the game. He also loves baseball. He is also learning to play the violin. Like his brother, he also enjoys Lego’s.

Cole and all the children seemed to feel right at home.

Cole and all the children seemed to feel right at home.

Colberg (Cole) is 3 years old. He adds a lot of energy to the family dynamics. He is also learning to play the violin. He enjoys everything that 3 year olds enjoy. He was especiallyimpressed with the elevator in the church and enjoyed riding in it.


Your Pastor Nominating Committee has completed its work and was dissolved at the Congregational Meeting held on April 28, 2013. We are very pleased with the result of our search and the acceptance of our candidate nominee by the congregation. We feel that we have exciting days ahead. Please look for an announcement regarding an ‘Installation’ service for Pastor Jason. This will be planned by our Committee on Ministry and Presbytery to be held in the near future. We will announce the date as soon as we know when itwill be held.

The Pastor Nominating Committee would like to say thank you to our Administrative Assistant, Becky Sehr, for the extraordinary job done during these past eight months while our pulpit was empty. Lacking an Interim Pastor, Becky carried the burden of making many decisions that are normally left to the Head-of-Staff. Becky made this a smooth transition. We also would like to say thank you to all who stepped up to different challenges and gave a little more effort knowing that there was an added burden on their shoulders as well. It was the incredible effort from so many people that kept our church running smoothly. Although our pulpit and the Pastor’s office are once again occupied, we would encourage everyone to continue to give that same effort in the days to come.

A full Pastor Nominating Committee Report was handed out prior to the Congregational Meeting on April 28. If you happened to miss it, you may pick a copy up in the church office. Since this is the last Pastor Nominating Committee edition for the Visitor, your Pastor Nominating Committee would like to thank you for your support and prayers as we managed our way through this process. We are happy with the result and hope that you are as well.

Your Pastor Nominating Committee,

Terrie Gulden (Chair), Dan Iveland (Vice Chair),Becky Eeten (Secretary), Katie Eeten, Ann Robinson,Amanda Van Maanen, Erin Sandstede, Phil Voigt,Todd Wessels, Kathy Knips (Committee on Ministry Liaison)


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    First Presbyterian Church of Luverne MN
    302 Central Lane
    Luverne, MN 56156


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