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Pastor Stefan Rickman


Pastor Stefan has served as the pastor of The Lutheran Church of Our Savior since 2016.  He previously served congregations in a wide variety of settings: urban, suburban, and small town.  He has closed a congregation and helped another to grow significantly.  He has led worship in grand, old sanctuaries, as well as in a strip mall storefront.  Those calls have taken him from Youngstown to Chicago to Minneapolis to Colorado.  But now he's thrilled to live in Dayton, which feels like a second home to him (his wife is a native Daytonian).  And he's pleased to serve LCOS -- a congregation evolving and bravely moving into the future.

His ministry passions include intergenerational learning, cultivating a welcoming and accepting community, and creating a dynamic and meaningful worship experience for all.  You'll also note that Pastor Stefan's sermons are lively: he walks around, unencumbered by notes (although that may change, as his memory is not what it used to be!).

Pastor Stefan received his B.A. in history from Oberlin College (where he met his future wife) and his Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  Born in Chicago, he grew up mostly in Evanston IL, the suburb just north of the city border (parts of which feel a lot like Oakwood!).  He thought he was going to be a historian...until he got pushed by the Holy Spirit onto another path.  While on a semester abroad in London, he had a life-changing encounter with a South African Lutheran pastor (he'll tell you the story if you ask and have 10 minutes to spare!).  That experience provided him with what turned out to be guiding lights in his ministry over the years: 1) working for justice and 2) helping people listen for how God is calling THEM in THEIR lives.

He and Natalie have two twenty-something sons, who live in Colorado and Arizona.  While they miss them dearly, they love living the empty nest life in downtown Dayton -- with its restaurants, performances, and signs of new life all around!  Coming from a family of booksellers, reading is in his blood -- he's always got a stack of books, mostly novels, on his nightstand.  He's kind of a foodie, too (Wheatpenny rocks! So do the GhostTarts from Ghostlight Coffee)  And while his Bears, Bulls, and White Sox will always have a place in his heart, it's Liverpool Football Club for which he is most fanatical.  Go Reds!

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