Pastor James Aalgaard accepted the call to lead Grace Lutheran Church starting Oct. 1. Prior to joining the Wenatchee church, he served 13 years at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ontario, Ore. Joining him in the move to Wenatchee are his wife, Dawn, and daughters Natalee and Emily, as well as his mother-in-law, Trish.
A Service of Installation will be held 2:30 p.m. Sunday with a reception to follow. All are invited to attend and welcome the new pastor to the community.
Aalgaard originally hails from Ada County, Minn., a rural farming community in northwestern Minnesota. The fifth of six children in a strong Scandinavian family, he received a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies from Trinity Lutheran College in Everett in 1996 and received his master of divinity from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., in 2000.
An individual with deep Midwest roots, Aalgaard always had a sense of wanderlust and a longing to see more of the country. While attending undergraduate school in Western Washington, he experienced the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and felt the desire to serve God in this geographical area. Starting with his first call with St. Paul Lutheran in Ontario, he has continued to feel called to ministry in the Pacific Northwest.
Aalgaard has a passion for new and challenging experiences and is excited to be a part of the greater Wenatchee community. When asked, “Why Wenatchee?”, he reflected that like Ontario, Wenatchee has demographics that allow for formation of diverse cultural partnerships with the greater community. He looks forward to walking in faith with a larger congregation and the professional development opportunities that come with serving a larger faith community. He also looks forward to accessing the area’s renowned hiking trails.
While Aalgaard is still getting to know Grace Lutheran and the greater Wenatchee area, he has already articulated a few goals. He hopes to continue and strengthen the relationships Grace Lutheran and the Wenatchee community enjoy with Holden Village and Grünwald Guild. He also wishes to coach and mentor Grace Lutheran’s lay leadership to allow Grace to fulfill its mission “to proclaim and celebrate the gospel of Jesus through word and sacraments so that a community of believers is created, trained, nurtured, and sent into mission.”
Grace Lutheran Church, 1408 Washington St., invites you to join in worship service at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings with Sunday educational time at 9 a.m. For a full list of church activities, visit GLC’s website at gracelutheranwenatchee.org.
Amee Tilger and Kathy Jo Evans are members of Grace Lutheran Church in Wenatchee.