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New pastor brings creative energy to Christ Lutheran

Pastor Van Bredeson will be formally installed as pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Somerset on Sunday, Aug. 10. He formerly served as the education youth and family pastor at Bethel Lutheran in Hudson for 22 years. (Photo by Sarah Young)

Pastor Van Bredeson of Christ Lutheran Church is enjoying getting to know the Somerset community, and going to the Everyday Cafe is at the top of his list.

“I’m getting to know everyone,” he said of going to the cafe. “When you go there you can hear everyone’s conversations whether you want to or not,” he chuckled.

As for his congregation, he said everyone is good-hearted.

“It’s good to grow to know them and delight in their spirits,” Bredeson said.

Bredeson has served as the interim pastor at Christ Lutheran since April. He will be formally installed as pastor Sunday, Aug. 10. He filled the position vacated by Pastor Kathy Tulman.

“An interim usually helps with the transitional phase between pastors,” Bredeson said. “The Bishop asked me and I felt like it was a really good fit. This is a three-year term calling.”

Bredeson is no stranger to the St. Croix Valley. He was called to serve as the education youth and family pastor at Bethel Lutheran in Hudson in 1991 and was there 22 years.

“I like having a good time with worship,” Bredeson said. “I try to make things intergenerational, so all kinds are involved in participation and leading of the worship service.”

He and his wife Kathie are high school sweethearts. She is a registered nurse with Entira Family Clinics in the Twin Cities. They live in the Town of Hudson with their two cats, though Bredeson admitted to wanting a dog.

“Someday when I settle down I get to have a dog,” Bredeson joked. “We raised Siberian Huskies when I was growing up near Rochester (Minn.) for show and pull, but they need lots of activity.”

The couple have two daughters: Megan, who is pursuing a doctorate in art history, and Kaitlyn, who attends St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md.

Bredeson, who graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, strives to bring a sense of wonder, joy and creativity to worship services -- especially for children.

He told of having children throw feathers in the air when angels are featured in a program, or how in Hudson, they had a “camel” (in costume) roam the streets when learning about the Three Wisemen.

His philosophy is “to excite, delight and embrace young people, their families and communities with the love and calling of Jesus.” Bredeson also has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from UW-Stout. He wants people to know they have someone to turn to.

Bredeson likes to be as creative in his hobbies as in his worship services. The self-proclaimed lover of variety was once a member of the St. Olaf dance team, loves to write songs for church programs and enjoys rowing on the St. Croix River.

Bredeson is inviting the public to attend Jubilee Sunday on Sept. 7 at Christ Lutheran. Worship begins at 9 a.m., followed by a special band, inflatables and working together to make sandwiches for homeless shelters as a service project.

And if you can’t make it to the Jubilee, you might find him at the Everyday Cafe enjoying a cup of coffee. Pull up a chair for a good conversation with the enthusiastic new pastor of Christ Lutheran.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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