Senior Pastor Robert Linstrom
In March of 2013, Trinity Lutheran Church proudly approved a call to the Reverend Robert Linstrom to serve as Trinity’s next Senior Pastor.
Pastor Linstrom — in addition to serving Trinity’s 1,700-member congregation — leads Trinity’s staff, works in partnership with Associate Pastor Dan Schewe and is accountable to the Church Council.
For the past 20 years, Pastor Linstrom served as pastor at Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Haven, Michigan. His prior pastoral experiences included roles at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jersey City, New Jersey, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lansing and Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Detroit.
Pastor Linstrom brings numerous strengths to Trinity, including leadership skills in serving his congregation, engagement of the broader community to support important programs, and connecting with others through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s regional and national synod structure. His passion for parish ministry includes preaching and teaching, interpreting theology, leading worship and music, building community, providing pastoral care, conducting evangelism, encouraging mission work and serving as an administrator.
In addition, Pastor Linstrom’s background includes a long-standing commitment to and experience with initiatives to foster gender, racial and ethnic diversity.
Pastor Linstrom earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he focused his studies on an inter-departmental degree in East Asian studies, history and religion. At the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Pastor Linstrom graduated with a master of divinity degree. He has completed additional coursework from the University of Chicago Divinity School and the Chicago Cluster of Theological Schools.
Pastor Linstrom and his wife, Rebecca, are parents to three grown sons: John, Ben and Sam.
Associate Pastor Dan Schewe
Daniel James Schewe (pronounced shave-ee) comes to us as a recent seminary graduate, seeking his first call as a soon-to-be ordained pastor. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Call Committee unanimously recommended Dan to be the next Associate Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church. He brings with him significant experience ministering to young people, a passion for outreach and a strong sense of call.
A lifelong Lutheran, Dan grew up in Maple Grove, Minnesota. He was active in his church and, upon graduation from high school, knew he had “a faith that he could claim as his own.”
In 2001 he received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After college Dan began his career in youth ministry at Faith Community Church in Orangeville, Ontario. A year later, he returned to Grand Rapids to serve the congregation of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church as the Director of Youth & Family Ministries (2004-08). Dan felt strongly called to pastoral ministry and moved back to Minnesota to attend Luther Seminary in St. Paul. While at seminary, Dan also served as the full-time Youth Director at Faith Lutheran Church in Monticello. Dan received his Master of Divinity (with an emphasis in Youth and Family Ministries) after completion of his internship at Como Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul.
Dan and his wife Alexis, a Grand Rapids native, were married in 2010 and blessed by the birth of their son Samuel in the winter of 2015. Since completing his studies at Luther Seminary, Dan’s greatest joy has been being a dad and watching Sam flourish. In addition, Dan officiates wrestling, enjoys a variety of sports, and writes devotionals for Interlink, a Christian curriculum company. Dan, Alexis and Sam are looking forward to returning to West Michigan and beginning Dan’s journey as an ELCA pastor.
Assisting Pastor Karen Niemeyer
With an overwhelming vote affirming her call, the congregation of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church acted at its Annual Meeting on January 15 to extend a call to Karen Z. Niemeyer to the ministry of Word and Sacrament among the Body of Christ and to serve as Assisting Pastor at Trinity.
Karen and her husband, Ted, have been members of Trinity for almost 20 years. Formerly a part of Trinity’s staff from 1999 to 2009 as “Lay Ministry Coordinator” and well-remembered for her leadership of the “Tapestry” ministry in our congregation, Karen completed her seminary education in the spring of 2016 and her internship in the summer of last year.
Pastor Karen’s ministry at Trinity will be part-time, modelled on the call of Trinity’s former Assisting Pastor and Pastor Emeritus David Paul. She will begin working with the Trinity staff in February and will have primary areas of responsibility with pastoral care and visitation, worship leadership, recruiting and equipping leaders, volunteer coordination and ministry with seniors.
North/West Lower Michigan Synod Bishop Craig Satterlee will preside at the Ordination of Pastor Niemeyer into the ministry of Word and Sacrament and her Installation as a pastor at Trinity on Sunday, February 26th at 3 pm. The festival liturgy will be followed by a reception in Centennial Hall.