First English Lutheran Church in Platteville has a new part-time associate pastor, Rev. Jasmine Tesdahl.
First English called Tesdahl in recognition of its growing need for more focus on family and household ministry.
“We have a growing number of young adults and families with young children within our church and our community” said Rev. Michael Short, First English’s senior pastor. “The focus for Pastor Tesdahl will be to reach out and engage those members of our congregation and community.”
In addition to her duties at First English, Tesdahl will serve part-time as the pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Cuba City.
“Knowing of Faith Lutheran’s need for a part-time pastor, and our developing ministry needs, and we saw it as an opportunity to partner together not only to serve the members of our congregations but all of Grant County and the greater church,” said Short.
Tesdahl holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, and a Master of Arts in Ministry from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She and her family moved to Platteville in 2014 when her husband, Dr. Eugene Tesdahl, accepted a position in the history department at UW–Platteville. Before being called to First English and Faith, Tesdahl served as vicar at Barneveld Lutheran Church from August 2014 to August 2015.
Along with her calling to serve First English and Faith as their pastor, Tesdahl is also a second lieutenant chaplain candidate in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, called to provide spiritual care and the opportunity for airmen, their families, and other authorized personnel to exercise their constitutional right to the free exercise of religion in whatever way they see fit. She anticipates her re-appointment as a Chaplain, First Lieutenant this year, and will serve out her annual Reserve duties alongside of her congregational calls.
Tesdahl was ordained Feb. 6 at her former congregation in Longmont, Colo., with many people from Southwest Wisconsin, along with Bishop Mary Froiland of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, attending.
“I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from this community,” said Tesdahl. “I look forward to the opportunity to walk alongside the people of First English and Faith, and to share in God’s creative work in this place.”
First English Lutheran Church, Platteville, and Faith Lutheran Church, Cuba City, are congregations of the ELCA, which believes that people are freed in Christ to serve and love their neighbor — to do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus’ name throughout the world.
First English Lutheran worships Sundays at 8 and 10:30 a.m., and Faith Lutheran worships Sundays at 10 a.m. All are welcome.