Pastor Dave Hoadley

Pastor Dave Hoadley is Zion’s current interim pastor, serving from April 2019 until shortly before we call the next associate pastor, which is expected to be later this year.

Pastor Dave grew up in the Lutheran church and was confirmed at a church in Rochester.

I was involved in Lutheran Campus Ministry in college at Winona State and have been active at the various ELCA churches of which I have been a member. I’m not sure if it qualifies as a “fondest” memory, but I remember the smell of lutefisk at my childhood church leading up to Christmas time.

There have been various pastors and lay people through the years who have shown me that Christians are not required to be saintly or different from others, and that God uses fallible people throughout history. I attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul from 1994 to 1998 and have served churches in Plymouth and Bloomington and have done hospital chaplaincy. My faith also greatly helped me during ten years as an Emergency Medical Technician for an ambulance service in central Minnesota.

Pastor Dave is drawn to the Bible stories of King David.

Besides his great name, he is a perfect (imperfect?) example of how God uses imperfect people and that when our faith may fall short in one area, we may show great faithfulness in another area.

Even pastors can be overwhelmed by the mystery of faith sometimes. What God did through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection doesn’t always make sense or seem possible. Then praying those four words in the Lord’s Prayer, “THY will be done” is often a challenge. I fall into the trap of wanting to control everything rather than trusting God, and fooling myself that I know better than God.

I think God is at work through the gifts each person has been given. Rather than God as a cosmic puppeteer, I believe God has expectations of God’s people, as communities and as individuals, to bring about God’s plans. For the most part, God has given the world what is needed to survive; humanity simply needs to use those resources in the right way.

Jesus made very clear that caring for one another was a key part of serving God. But as far back as the Psalms and even further, the message of caring for the hurting, the lonely, the downtrodden and the outsider has been a theme of how God wants us to live together. When the people of Zion reach out to those same groups of people, we are showing ourselves as being true to the label of God’s people.

I feel God has given me gifts in this area such as listening, compassion, and a calming presence. My personality has always been that of wanting to help others and to support those overlooked by others. It is a chance to bring a sense of belonging and importance to those who may feel forgotten or unimportant, and a chance to allow those afraid to “burden others” to share their joys and sorrows without judgment. In short, it offers people something the rest of the world often will not.

In general, it is the times when, despite the negativity in the world, our country, and our communities, positive stories appear to remind us that good remains in the world and God continues to move forward despite this flawed humanity.

I strive to show a positive attitude as much as possible. Offering the simplest gestures of holding doors, treating store staff politely, being patient on the roads, and acknowledging other people with a kind word can go a long way to make the community a better place. I also hope that through community theatre and the Wright County Chamber Chorus that I can help bring folks some distractions from their daily lives and a chance for a short time of respite.

Pastor Dave is the youngest of four children and the only boy. He has two living sisters and his mother will turn 89 this August. He is married to Cathy and has a stepson Noah, who will soon be 20, and a stepdaughter Ana, who will soon be 16. He likes to golf, read, and do some basic flower gardening.

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