His father’s death led to Daniel Lewis’ calling toward ministry.
Lewis is excited to be the new full-time pastor at Joy Lutheran Church in Cambridge.
Lewis started in the position on Jan. 15 after going through a call process with Joy Lutheran’s congregation. This process involved the formation of a committee of congregants to find a new pastor, which interviewed candidates for the position before putting the final decision to a vote by the whole congregation.
“I was very thankful that they decided to vote and call me,” Lewis said.
The call process took 2 1/2 years, and a retired pastor filled in during the interim.
Lewis completed field work with a working pastor toward the end of his time at seminary, so he wasn’t by any means unprepared to start working, but he says there is still an added pressure to starting out on your own for the first time as a pastor.
“It’s a whole new ball game,” Lewis said. “The buck stops here.”
One of Lewis’ goals in his new role with Joy is finding out where it fits in the church landscape in the area. There are many local parishes, and Lewis hopes he and his congregation can benefit the community through partnerships with other local churches.
He also would like to look for remaining unmet needs in the community that Joy’s congregation can help fill.
He also, of course, hopes to spread the message of the Bible to his church’s members and its visitors.
“First and foremost I hope to just proclaim God’s word,” Lewis said. “People don’t come here to learn what Daniel Lewis thinks.”
Lewis began down his path toward ministry following childhood hardship.
“For me I think it all goes back to when my dad died,” he said.
He was 7 years old at the time, and his father’s death led him to ask a lot of difficult questions about the goodness of God.
“Why would God let this happen?” Lewis said he wondered at the time.
His mother would point him to scriptures during this period to reassure him of God’s love, and Lewis says that is where he began to feel called toward ministry.
Since starting in January, Lewis said being Joy’s pastor has been going well while he settles in.
“One thing that’s very unique to Joy is that it’s just a very welcoming community,” he said.
Family members and friends of Lewis’ who have visited the church since he took up his post have told him they felt welcomed as well.
Lewis lives with his wife and their dog. Lewis attended seminary in California, but he originally hails from Maplewood, Minnesota, and he now lives in Little Canada. He is happy to be back in the north.
“It’s nice to see seasons again,” he said.
Penny, Lewis’ dog, is alright with the move, too.
“She’s a big fan of lakes,” he said.