The congregation at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church celebrated the 30th anniversary of Pastor Glenn Berg-Moberg’s ordination into the ministry Dec. 13. His ministry has been characterized by excellence in preaching and music, among many other strengths.
He has been senior pastor of the congregation since he arrived in 2001. That means he has done the majority of the preaching when there was no associate pastor, and he still shares that responsibility with Jill Rode, the current associate pastor.
When Berg-Moberg was asked what parts of ministry bring you the most joy, he replied: “Preaching, particularly when I find out what people have done or decided when they have been influenced by a sermon. When that happens, I can sense the Holy Spirit is moving through the congregation as the word is proclaimed. I don’t take personal credit for this. I always remember that Jonah’s sermon to the people of Ninevah was possibly the worst sermon ever delivered in the history of preaching, but God still used it for good.
“What gives me joy is seeing and hearing about the ways congregation members care for one another,” he continued. “What gives me joy is singing in a crowd of worshippers who are united both in the singing and in service to the world that grows out of hearing the Good News at worship. Baptisms. Potlucks. Kids who brighten up the congregation with their beauty and innocence.”
As senior pastor, Berg-Moberg does the majority of hospital and home visits, handles a variety of counseling requests, oversees a staff of 10, meets with the church cabinet monthly and serves on synod committees. He also handles most of the funerals in the parish.
“The more I’m around Pastor Glenn the more I appreciate his subtlety,” said Andy Sackreiter, congregation president. “He’s thoughtful in his messages without necessarily delivering a black or white outcome. He guides and nudges and leaves space for people to draw their own conclusions. In this complex world I appreciate feeling like I have a partner who can help with navigating tough questions, not by giving me the answer but by giving me tools to find the answer myself.
“Also, Glenn is a great song writer and can remember an absurd number of song lyrics.”
In 2011, Berg-Moberg was awarded a Lily Endowment sabbatical leave to follow the missionary journeys of Paul, sailing the Aegean Sea. The pastor’s teaching and preaching were greatly enriched by this experience, plus it fit in nicely with his great love of sailing.
Before coming to St. Anthony Park in 2001, Berg-Moberg served St. John Lutheran Church in Janesville, Wis., and First Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam, Wis.
At the celebration service in December, Berg-Moberg was pleased that Dr. Fred Gaiser (a congregation member and former professor at Luther Seminary) was able to preach. Gaiser used the Old Testament text chosen by Berg-Moberg for his ordination Dec. 8, 1985. At that service, the late Dr. Loren Halvorson, also a seminary prof, had preached.
To celebrate this timely anniversary in a more relaxed way, the congregation hosted an open house at the Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott in St. Anthony Park, that afternoon.