We Welcome Our New Co-Pastor, Jeffrey Sartain!
We are pleased to introduce you to Pastor Jeffrey Sartain, our new co-pastor. Jeff was born in Littlefork, Minnesota where the Lutheran church was an integral part of his family life. He graduated from Moorhead State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. After a few years as a social worker in Western North Dakota, he knew it was time to go to Luther Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity in 1990 and was approved for ordination in the ELCA. Since then, he has had a rich history in ministry, initially serving at smaller congregations in rural areas and for the last 16 years in a large congregation near downtown Minneapolis. Jeff is also committed to continuing education, having earned his Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in 2013.
The gifts Jeff brings are abundant. Members of the Call Committee listened to and observed a number of his sermons—he is an exceptional preacher. We experienced his pastoral nature in our conversations with him and heard about his pastoral care in the independent conversations we had with his nine references. We learned more about his commitment to social justice and all of his wonderful work in that area. We know from his experiences and accomplishments over the last 16 years at Plymouth Congregational Church that he is a skilled strategic mission planner, administrator, and stewardship leader. And, of course, we know he will be an excellent team member with Pastor Stephanie, Lauren, and the rest of our staff.
Jeff is married to Mark Sedio, the Cantor at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. They have two adult children and grandchildren. Because ELCA policy denied ordination to LGBTQ people in committed same gender relationships when Jeff was approved in 1990, he is rostered in the United Church of Christ, a denomination that is a Full-Communion partner with the ELCA. With the ELCA’s more inclusive policies today, Jeff is now able to joyfully return to the Lutheran church as pastor. Jeff is working through the synod formalities that precede this change.
We are excited about Pastor Jeffrey and look forward to our ministry together!