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Pastor

 

Pastor Dennis Lauritsen has served Sts. Peter and Paul since December, 2000. Ordained in 1983 at his home congregation of Bethesda Lutheran Church, Moorhead, Iowa, he has previously served two  parishes in the city of Chicago, Bethel Lutheran Church of Humboldt Park (1983-91) and Lake View Lutheran Church (1991-99).

 

During his years at Bethel, the congregation renewed its liturgical and corporate prayer life, assisted with the organization of the Westtown Emergency Shelter which was housed at the church for six years, provided ministries to area youth, including the support of a Lutheran grade school, along with summer programs, Sunday school and vacation Bible school. The congregation was also one of the first to host members of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Chicago.

 

At Lake View Lutheran Church, located in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of the city, congregational outreach was focused primarily among post-collegiate, young adults through various opportunities for worship, study, prayer, fellowship and service. Again, the congregation moved toward reviving the worship and musical life of the congregation, including the introduction of weekly Communion, alternative musical settings of the Lutheran liturgy, and the addition of a minister of music. During this time the Lake View congregation continued to host and expanded the emergency shelter programs housed in the church facility.

 

 

Among his many interests and loves of parish ministry, Pastor Lauritsen values Christ-centered, biblical and relevant preaching; the vitality and integrity of the traditional western liturgy; the congregation as a teaching parish for all ages; solid faith formation practices and vibrant, Spirit-led evangelism; the confessional teachings of the church throughout the ages; the contemplative prayer life of the daily offices; and the compassionate pastoral and congregational care of souls.

 

Pastor Lauritsen was raised on a farm in Monona County, Iowa, the fourth of five children. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He received the Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, during which time he served his seminary internship at Metropolitan Lutheran Ministry in Kansas City, Missouri, a year-long, urban experience with a focus on social ministry. In June, 1999 he received a Master of Theology degree in Biblical Studies from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago where his interests centered on the New Testament, particularly the First Epistle of Peter, and other early Christian literature from the post-apostolic period of the second century.

 

Pastor Lauritsen lives in Riverside with his wife, Jane, and their family. They have three children, Samuel, Isaac and Olivia. 

 

Jesus, the Rich Man, and All of Us Lousy Stewards by Prof. David Lose, Marbury E. Anderson Biblical Preaching  Chair, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota

The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry

Passing the Plate : A summary of research on the offerings of American Protestants.

 

Recent Sermons, Pastoral Letters and Articles

 

Playing by Ear : Annual Pastoral Letter to the Congregation at Sts. Peter and Paul preached on the Third Sunday after the Epiphany of Our Lord, January 26th, 2014.

Knowing You is Loving You : A sermon preached at Riverside Presbyterian Church on the Second Sunday after the Epiphany of Our Lord, January 19th, 2014 in observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Land of the Living : A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 21st, following the Boston Marathon Bombing.

The End of the World as We Know It : A Sermon for the Resurrection of Our Lord, March 31st, 2013.

Merciful Judgment : A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 10th, 2013.

Of Foxes and Hens : A Sermon for the Second Sunday in Lent, February 24th, 2013.

Trusting in the Communion of Saints : A Sermon for the Funeral of Alfred Kovalsky, Thursday, January 10th, 2013.

Shipwrecked : A Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent in the aftermath of the Newtown Massacre.

"I have Called You Friends" : A Sermon for the Memorial Service of Jennie E. Gurak, November 11th, 2012.

The Road : A Sermon for Reformation Sunday, October 28th, with the Rite of Confirmation.

Limitless Love for Limited Lives : A Sermon for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, October 7th, 2012.

To Gehenna and Back : A Sermon for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 30th, 2012

Heartbreak Hill : A Sermon for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 16th, 2012.

What's Eating You? : A Sermon for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 2nd, 2012.

"Grope Where the Word Is" : A Sermon for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, August 26th, 2012.

Easter Is Enough : A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 29th, 2012

When the End Isn't : A Sermon for Easter Day, April 8th, 2012.

A Wounded Healer : A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 18th, 2012.

Turning Things Upside Down : A Sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent, March 11th, 2012.

Not on Your Own : A Sermon for the Transfiguration of Our Lord, February 19th, 2012.

Listening to the Little : A Sermon for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 12th, 2012.

Out of Orbit : A Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 5th, 2012.

The Short List–Listen : Annual Pastoral Letter to the Congregation on the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, January 29th, 2012.

A Short Sermon for a Change : A Sermon for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany, January 22nd, 2012.

A New Name for a New Year: A Sermon for the Name of Jesus, January 1st, 2012.

The Enchanted One: A Sermon for Christmas Day 2011.

Learning How to Beg : A Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent, November 27th, 2011.

A Thanksgiving Message from Bethesda Lutheran Church, Moorhead, Iowa

The Spittin' Image : A Sermon for All Saints Sunday, November 6th, 2011.

Steppin' Out : A Sermon for Reformation Sunday and the Rite of Confirmation, October 30th, 2011.

The Bride of Christ : A Sermon for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, October 9th, 2011.

A Sermon for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Sunday, October 2nd, 2011, by Katarina Soltesova, Visiting Research Scholar from Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia.

My Messy House : A Sermon for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 25th, 2011.

The End of Envy : A Sermon for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 18th, 2011.

The Foolishness of Forgiveness : A Sermon for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Observance of the Tenth Anniversary of September 11th, 2001.

Put Down Your Feet : A Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, August 28th, 2011.

Wise Children : A Sermon for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, July 24th.

Successful Farming : A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, July 10th, 2011

Bound for Freedom : A Sermon for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and the Fourth of July Weekend, July 3rd, 2011

"Small is Beautiful" : A Sermon for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, June 26th, 2011.

Trinity in Motion : A Sermon for Trinity Sunday, June 19th, 2011

A Tale of Two Miracles : A Sermon for the Day of Pentecost, June 12th, 2011

"What Now?" : A Sermon for the Seventh Sunday of Easter and Graduate Recognition, June 5th, 2011.

"The Good Life" : A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 15th 2011.

Blind Sighted : A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, April 3rd 2011.

A Well Story Turned Love Story : A Sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent, March 30th, 2011

Fresh Start : A Sermon for the Second Sunday in Lent, March 23rd, 2011

A Sermon for the Burial of Elizabeth "Betty" Yurik : Wednesday of the Second Week in Lent, March 16th, 2011

Take a Stand : A Sermon for the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, February 20th, 2011.

Holes in the Darkness : A Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 6th, 2011.

The Blessing of Being: Annual Pastoral Letter to the Congregation, presented on the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany of Our Lord, and the Annual Meeting of the Congregation, January 30th, 2011.

We Want to See Jesus : A Sermon for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany of Our Lord and the Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Renewer of Society (and addressing the events of the tragedy in Tucson).

In the Fullness of Time : A Sermon for the Second Sunday of Christmas and the New Year, January 2nd, 2011.

A Voice in the Desert : A Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent, December 12th, 2010.

The Horizon of Hope : A Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent, November 28th, 2010.

The Burning Temples : A Sermon for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, November 14th, 2010.

The Birthmark : A Sermon for All Saints Sunday with the Rite of Confirmation, November 7th, 2010.

Mercy for the Merciful; Forgiveness for the Forgiven : A Sermon for the Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, October 24th, 2010.

The Thankful Samaritan : A Sermon for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, October 10th, 2010.

Faith Enough to Move Me : A Sermon for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, October 3rd, 2010.

Snake Handling : A Sermon for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 26th, 2010.

A Sermon for the Wedding of Gandy Garcia and Peter Drahos : Saturday, September 18th, 2010.

The Color of Money : A Sermon for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 19th, 2010.

The Cost of Discipleship : A Sermon for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 5th, 2010.

"My House is Your House" : A Sermon for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, July 18th, 2010.

Our Walking is Our Preaching : A Sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, July 11th, 2010.

Free to Follow : A Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Pentcost, June 27th, 2010.

Changing Clothes : A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, June 20th, 2010.

The Suffering Servants of I Peter : A New Testament exegetical article written for the Summer 2009 Issue of The Lutheran Forum .

God Gets Personal : A Sermon for the Sunday of the Holy Trinity, May 30th, 2010.

Whispers of the Wind : A Sermon for the Day of Pentecost, May 23rd, 2010.

The Homemaker : A Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Mother's Day), May 9th, 2010.

Pastoral Care of a Preschool : A Letter to the Advisory Committee on the Preschool of Sts. Peter and Paul, April 26, 2010.

It was Winter: A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), April 25th, 2010.

Successful Failures: A Sermon for the Third Sunday of Easter, April 18th, 2010.

"I have Called You Friends": A Sermon for the Memorial Service of  Deanna N. Oklepek, the First Week of Easter, Saturday, April 10th, 2010.

Resurrection Rehearsal: A Sermon for Easter Day, April 4th, 2010.

"They Shall Sing for Joy" : A Sermon for the Burial of John Skaritka, March 6th, 2010.