Nathaniel Timmermann knew since his senior year in high school that he wanted to be a pastor. His dream became reality for him after he was installed last Sunday as the new pastor at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church.
“I grew up with good pastors as role models in my life,” Timmermann said. “I wanted to have their career and bring other people the truth in life and help people in their own walk with faith.”
His new position includes sharing preaching, teaching and home visit duties with the Rev. Jonathan Brohn. In the future he will participate in community unity and engage in interaction on behalf of the church with the community at large.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know people and their lives and satisfying their needs with the word of God and the mercy of Christ in his Word,” Timmermann said.
He’s moved to Stillwater with his wife and two children and has really appreciated the reception he’s been given.
“Everybody’s been very nice and very helpful,” Timmermann said. “It’s really surprising to have people be so supportive of you and willing to give you the tools to do your job well.”
His past experiences include teaching English in China and studying there after seminary school.
“I was there from ’05 through ’06 and then again after seminary school,” Timmermann said. “I helped people learn an extra language, talked to people about coming to the states and giving them help and assistance in whatever they would need.”
Timmermann said it was an experience that taught him much about cultural differences between the Chinese and Americans when it comes to matters of faith.
“Americans don’t really like to talk about what’s really important to us. We’re not really good at sharing our faith with others. We’re more sensitive about the issue whereas the Chinese are far more blunt about it,” Timmermann said. “I hope that I can help people become more adept at articulating their needs and spiritual wants to talk about the deeper things and help individuals become more practiced at discussing their faith with the community.”
Timmermann’s immediate goals are to learn more about his new church and congregation. He also said one of his challenges will be finding his place and respecting the long 130-year tradition of Salem.
“I hope to preach the word and teach the word and understand how to carry out my ministry with all of my congregation and also the larger community,” Timmermann said.