When Reverend Jonathan Torreson, the newest pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, began his ministry, he found a call to serve all age groups.
The Grand Rapids, Mich. Native started out as a senior in high school taking a niche in a church that has never had a youth ministry, taking on the role of a youth leader and ultimately passing the number of group members from 15 to 120.
“It’s a great growth that has taken place there,” he recalls. “I thought God was calling me to be a pastor and help all ages.”
After this period, her grandfather suffered a stroke and was asked to lead the nursing home devotion, and came to love the nursing home ministry as much as the youth administration, did he declare.
Reverend Torreson, 30, will bring his experience to Our Redeemer, with plans to develop the parish both in evangelism and in youth offerings, after his installation on October 10. He comes to Our Redeemer after being co-pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Decatur, Illinois. He replaces Acting Pastor Jeff Stephens in this post.
“I am very excited,” said Reverend Torreson, a resident of Bedford. “It’s a perfect fit.”
He said that when he first entered the church on SOM Center Road, he saw quite a few young adults given the size of the church, which typically attracts around 80 to 100 people every Sunday.
“This is something missing here,” he said of the need for a youth ministry program and leadership for young adults.
“I like to bring something to young people that may be different from most youth groups,” said Reverend Torreson. “Not only do I like providing them with a healthy and safe place to have fun and have fun, but I am also very committed to launching youth leadership programs to give this opportunity to children interested in becoming a leader.
“They can contact their own friends,” he said. “This is largely where youth ministry developed – with children reaching out to their own peers.”
Reverend Torreson said he plans to work on church evangelism.
“They have a great desire to come out into the community,” said Reverend Torreson, “to serve Solon and find out where they are needed.”
He said it’s an even greater need now with the state of the world as a whole. “When we have so many questions and we are looking for answers and we have a hard time finding them, I see the church has the truth.”
Reverend Torreson said the church has established groups but will seek to develop and improve them even more.
He will also work to start events in Solon that the community can expect, he continued.
“Churches should be a centerpiece for the community to come together,” he said, “whether you like it or not, you can have fun. “
Reverend Torreson, who is married to Taylor and has a young son, Milo, said he hopes to start events such as chili dishes and carnival parties, as well as feature a living nativity scene during the Christmas season.
“These events would be good for Our Redeemer and also for all Solon,” he said.
He said the congregation has shrunk in number and that he hopes to help grow it again.
“They were looking for a pastor to take a paddle and help them get around,” he said. “I am very excited for this.”