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Houdek feels blessed to be at First Lutheran

Pastor Amelia Houdek is the new Pastor of Lifelong Learning at First Lutheran Church in New Richmond. (Photo by Jason Schulte)

Amelia Houdek took a tour of New Richmond with her husband Chris a couple of months ago.

“We were never in the town before, but there was something about it that made us fall in love with it,” she said. “We love it here.”

That’s good considering Houdek started last month as the Pastor of Lifelong Learning at First Lutheran Church in New Richmond. She was officially installed July 19.

“It took me less than five seconds to feel welcomed here,” she said. “I’m looking forward to living the next part of my life here in New Richmond. I feel really blessed to be here.”

Houdek comes from the Twin Cities area, where she spent the last 10 years working in the Minneapolis area Synod.

She wasn’t looking for a change in jobs, but that changed when a friend of hers said, meet First Lutheran Pastor James Bump.

Houdek said the friend felt her and Bump would make for a good pairing, the two could work well  together.

“Through a series of conversations, the friend was right,” Houdek said. “This came at an unexpected and wonderful surprise.”

It didn’t take much convincing to uproot the family.

“The rest of the family (including Noah, a soon-to-be senior at New Richmond) felt this is where we needed to be,” she said. She has an older son, Xander, who attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Houdek took a road less traveled in becoming a pastor. She was working as a microbiologist for the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, when something was missing.

“It got to a point in which I loved what I did, but I hated going to work,” she said.

A career counselor said Houdek should think about being a pastor.

“I laughed at him,” she remembers. “My first thoughts were the hours were crazy and the pay isn’t so good.”

Yet, the counselor didn’t give up.

“You love the church, you are active in the church,” Houdek remembers the counselor telling her. “Faith seems to be a huge part of who you are.”

After much thought and convincing she realized the counselor was right.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she said. “I was born to do this.”

At First Lutheran, Houdek will be in charge of showing parishioners of all ages how God can impact one’s life.

“God is at work in your life,” she said. “Let me show you.”

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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