Cambridge Lutheran Church’s new youth pastor Rich Holleque will facilitate a journey of faith as he introduces a ministry of service and compassion.
“I was looking for a good fit for me. You can tell people here just had a great heart, they loved God and loved what they were doing here, and that translates into loving people and being able to really work and build relationships, and that’s a really great place to work,” Holleque said, who has been with Cambridge Lutheran since June 1.
He will work with the church’s students in grades nine through 12 and will mentor the youth of approximately 150 families that attend the church.
Desiring to get a fresh perspective on education and an opportunity to foster new friendships, Holleque attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and minors in business management and religion. He is currently a student in Luther Seminary and is earning a Masters of Arts in children, youth and family ministry.
“The was the most formative four years of my life to date,” Holleque said of his time at Luther College. “I really cultivated my values in that time and really got my self-confidence up and really found who I was and what I was passionate about.”
Holleque grew up in a church family, with his father serving as a church minister. He gives his father credit for allowing him to walk his own path and discover his own passion.
“Seeing that generosity and that depth of care and him not wanting to push me one way or the other, I found ministry through that,” Holleque said.
Holleque’s interest in youth ministry grew as he worked three summer Bible camps during college. He discovered the fun and energy his role gave him as a camp counselor.
“I really felt called to youth ministry and working in a church and working with kids,” Holleque said.
He had an opportunity to work with youth from Cambridge Lutheran Church this summer in a trip with 14 youth to Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp located at Ute Trail in Colorado and in a trip to the Boundary Waters.
“It started off with a bang, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way,” Holleque said. “It was a good way to start.”
Holleque looks forward to building relationships, where he said ministry starts. He hopes to help develop an authentic relationship between youth and God that is lifelong.
“If there is one take away of what I am trying to do here is love God, love people and serve the world. Giving back to the community, giving back to God,” Holleque said.
Holleque’s vision for the ministry involves serving the immediate community that will give youth a perspective on the needs of people and also help foster a sense as a part of a family of God.
Holleque originates from Hibbing, and his parents, Erik and Mary, are recently retired as a minister and teacher. Holleque has a brother, Matt, and sister, Kristine, who were adopted from Korea.
Holleque enjoys spending time outdoors camping and hiking, playing sports like basketball and swimming, watching movies and photography.
Holleque feels his zest for life will aide him in his new role with youth and will usher in enthusiasm for his work and his goal of loving people and serving the world. He invites Cambridge-Isanti high schoolers to check out the new ministry season and build friendships.
“I think it’s important to know there’s an open door. I’m willing to see anyone at anytime,” Holleque said. “I really want to make this a place for any person who wants to come and build a relationship with a wonderful community and with God.”
Holleque said he believes in the importance of community in faith and he feels faith is not something that should be walked alone.
“My door is open. It’s a journey. Community really helps, and there’s a community here to help you,” Holleque said.
Holleque can be contacted by email at [email protected]