Ezekiel's new visitation pastor eager to get to know parishioners
The Rev. David Almlie was not looking for a new job when Mark Hall contacted him to see if he'd be interested in the position of visitation pastor at Ezekiel Lutheran Church.
"I was really enjoying retirement," Almlie said. "But I did share with (Hall) that I've always enjoyed in my ministry, getting to opportunity to go and visit people in their times of need or their times of sickness or if they're shut-ins. It is alway such a privilege to be able to be welcomed into people's place of residence and to minister to them and hear their life stories."
Almlie said Hall convinced him to come out of retirement and take the visitation pastor position at Ezekiel.
As the name implies, Almlie's primary responsibility as visitation pastor is visiting parishioners. He visits assisted living facilities and others who can't make it to church, giving Bible study sessions and Communion.
"We have Communion services for the people," he said. "Wherever we go, we try to give people the opportunity to take Communion."
So far, Almlie said, things have gone very well at Ezekiel. He officially started Tuesday, July 11.
"The staff here has just been really nice to work with and the people that have visited have been so welcoming," Almlie said.
Almlie comes from a family of many pastors.
"My father was a pastor, and my older brother is a pastor, and my sister is married to a pastor and my mother's father was a pastor," he said.
He said watching his father and other pastor relatives is part of why he chose to become a pastor himself.
"I was enticed into it by the influences around me," he said, "the good things I saw happen in their lives with their ministries."
Almlie graduated St. Olaf college in 1967 with a degree in philosophy and English. He graduated from Luther Theological Seminary, now Luther Seminary, in 1971. He served as pastor for 39 years before retiring. He was retired seven years before starting his new position.
He's collected a lot of great memories over the years, and at the various churches he's worked with.
"It's the people that always are the joy of the ministry," he said. "The people that we get to know and the experiences we get to share."