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Welcome, Pastor Makayla Dahleen!

UPDATE, Monday, July 15, 2024:

Our congregational vote on July 13-14 to call Pastor Makayla Dahleen as our Pastor of Family Life was unanimously affirmative. Pastor Dahleen has expressed her excitement at joining the St. Philip the Deacon family.

Thank you to all of the people who were involved with this search and call process—Pastor Schmid and Pastor Strand Patterson, our Executive Team, our Council, led by Congregational President Heather Larson, and all of our faithful and talented staff.

Thanks also to the entire membership of St. Philip the Deacon for making St. Philip the Deacon such a healthy, vital and vibrant congregation. We celebrate this health, which allows us to attract high quality candidates when we have openings in our staff, and also allows us to fill these openings quickly and efficiently.

Pastor Dahleen will be finishing up her call to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sterling, Illinois over the next few weeks, and will be moving up to Plymouth in late August with her husband Jacob and their six-month-old son, Simon. Her first weekend in worship will be Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8, and she will be formally installed as our Pastor of Family Life during all services on the weekend of Sept. 14 and 15.

Please continue to keep Pastor Makayla and her family in your prayers as she makes this transition, and keep our congregation in your prayers as we move into this next and exciting chapter of our life together.


June 20, 2024

Dear Friends of St. Philip the Deacon,

I am delighted to report that the St. Philip the Deacon Church Council and Executive Team have unanimously recommended Pastor Makayla Dahleen to join us as our next pastor.

To ratify this recommendation, a rolling special congregational meeting will be held at the conclusion of all worship services on the weekend of July 13 and July 14.

Pastor Dahleen is a native of a small town in Wisconsin, attended Luther College in Iowa, and completed graduate training for ministry at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She is married to Jacob, and they have a young son, Simon, who is six months old.

For the past four years, Pastor Dahleen has served as solo pastor of St. Paul Lutheran in Sterling, Illinois. Before that, she served as a pastoral intern at a large Lutheran church outside of Denver—where they are still using curriculum created by her. She also has experience with camping ministries, a prison ministry, and a small black congregation on the south side of Chicago.

“The search process for our next pastor has been thoughtful and thorough and faithful,” said Council President Heather Larson. “After conversations and interviews with a number of outstanding candidates, Makayla quickly rose to the top. She was able to spend a few days with our entire staff and Executive Team in early June, and during that visit we all recognized that there was a wonderful fit between her and St. Philip the Deacon. I am thrilled that she will be joining our already exceptionally gifted team of pastors and staff.”

“After my visit in early June, it became abundantly clear to me that the Holy Spirit was calling me to St. Philip the Deacon,” Pastor Dahleen said. “I am so excited for our family to join the SPD family, and I look forward to where God is leading us as we walk in faith together.”

Like all pastors at St. Philip the Deacon, Pastor Dahleen will preach, teach, lead worship, conduct baptisms and weddings and funerals, and provide pastoral care. As Pastor of Family Life, her particular area of emphasis will be to help us to build on and expand our children and family ministries.

As part of our larger strategy with the call of Pastor Dahleen, we will also be expanding and enriching our adult education offerings through the creation of a new Director of Adult Education role. Look for more news about that addition to our staff in July.

As I have said many times over the last few months, I have never been more excited about our future at St. Philip the Deacon than I am right now. I am delighted that Makayla will be joining our gifted and talented and faithful team of pastors and staff, and I celebrate all of the ways God will continue to use this incredible congregation to reflect his light and love to a world in need.

With Hope and Promise,

Tim Westermeyer
Senior Pastor



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Ignatius of Loyola