Pastor Jeff Linman will be the preacher at the annual Swedish Service at the Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover on Sunday, September 30, at 4 pm. He completed his call as part-time Pastor of Renewal and Redevelopment at First Lutheran Church in Monmouth August 31 and joined the Retired Roster September 1. The 30th will be his last day living in Illinois. Following the service, he and his wife Patti will be relocating to Franklin, NC, where he is eager to see what new ministry/adventure awaits. Pastor Jeff is a graduate of Monmouth High School and the Florida State University. He then served on the staff of Lutheran Welfare Services of Illinois (now LSSI) in Moline. After graduating from Northwestern Seminary in St Paul, MN, and his ordination in 1981, he served as pastor at Messiah, Port Byron, and Immanuel in Dixon.
In 1996, Pastor Jeff was called by the ELCA Division of Outreach to redevelop an existing congregation with no building in Orlando, FL. That redevelopment resulted in the formation of Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in 1999 which eventually renovated a bowling alley for its permanent home. Pastor Jeff served at Spirit of until October 2016. For the past decade, he has felt a holy discontent over the membership decline in the Church. He is the founder of the DreamLeaders Initiative, a congregational renewal ministry. Since 2015, he has led 31 renewal weekends in Florida and the Upper Midwest seeking to ignite hope and new dreams in today’s Church.
John Norton from Trinity Church in Moline will conduct the liturgy in Swedish for this Svensk Högmässa service, and Deanna Swanson from Augustana Church in Andover will be the organist. Light refreshments will be served following the service by members of St. Paul Church in Orion.
The Chapel, constructed in the early 1850’s, is named for the celebrated Swedish singer, Jenny Lind, who gave a generous donation to Pastor Lars Paul Esbjörn, leader of the Swedish immigrants to Illinois. It became the mother church for hundreds of other churches of the Augustana Lutheran Church in America. The lower level houses a museum highlighting the Swedish immigration and ancestry of the Augustana Synod. The Chapel, which is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm April through October, is a ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod. The web site is jennylindchapel.org.