Knoxville — Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Knoxville will be the first congregation Pastor Kristine Dohrmann will serve as a minister.
Dohrmann is scheduled to be installed at the church's 9:30 a.m. service on Sunday, June 16. Since the retirement of former Pastor John Chadwick, the church went through the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's process of finding a new one. This included specifying what qualities they would like to have in a new minister. Dohrmann filled out a similar form, describing what she would like in a church. They were matched based upon this process.
Dohrmann has preached at the church for two Sundays. She was ordained on June 8. The installation process will involve the assistant bishop coming to Knoxville for a formal ceremony, in which she commits to serving the church and the congregation commits to her.
Originally from the Quad Cities area (New Windsor, Ill.), Dohrmann received most of her ministry training in North Carolina. Her husband of 25 years, Jon, is an accounting supervisor for John Deere and was transferred to North Carolina. They have since come to Iowa and reside in Ankeny.
Dohrmann plans to move to Knoxville next year. She is waiting to do so because her youngest son will be a senior at Ankeny's new Centennial High School in the fall. The Dohrmanns have two other children, a daughter living in Chapel Hill, N.C., and a son attending Iowa State University.
The family came to the Des Moines area two-and-a-half years ago, after she completed her Master's of Divinity. She served an internship at Holy Trinity in Ankeny. Her call and appointment to Good Shepherd Lutheran was effective June 1.
In her brief time at Good Shepherd, she has already received numerous calls from people in need. This has not affected her opinion of Knoxville.
"Every community has needs," Dohrmann said.
As this is her first charge as a minister, Dohrmann said she has trusted the Holy Spirit to guide her. She has put her faith in God's hands as she prepares to lead this relatively young church. (Good Shepherd as a church is 27 years old, compared to others that have existed for over 100 years.)
"It really is having faith God is in the process, directing and guiding," Dohrmann said.
She is eager to bring people in who don't have a church home. Her ministry will be centered on God's grace, forgiveness and love. Dohrmann is excited to be a part of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Knoxville, and welcomes the opportunity to walk with people in their faith journeys. Though the ELCA followed a process, entering the ministry and coming to Knoxville all involve a call from God.
"It's hard to describe a call from God," Dohrmann said. She said she has been guided by a quote from Frederick Buechner of "Wishful Thinking." Buechner wrote, "The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."
Dohrmann has been so busy studying for her new role that she says she has forgotten how to have fun. Being a mother also means that most of her fun, family activities have centered around her children's activities. She enjoys spending time with her family, playing cards, taking bike rides and going on walks.
Following her son's graduation, she is eager to move to Knoxville, to become an even bigger part of the community.