Man behind the signs moves on

Our Savior’s Molin moves on to Roseville church

The Rev. Steve Molin will leaving Stillwater’s Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in early June to serve as an interim pastor at Roseville Lutheran Church. Molin and Our Savior’s became known for the creative, witty sayings Molin posted on the church sign. (Gazette staff photo by Avery Cropp)

The man behind the creative signs at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Stillwater is moving on.
But the Rev. Steve Molin hopes the legacy he leaves after 14 years at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church goes beyond his witty and self-deprecating signs in front of the church.
“It’s funny how I’ve been here for 14 years and my legacy will be a church sign,” he said. “But really, it’s indicative of the people and spirit in place here. We know how to laugh, and live life in the spirit of joy and it’s reflective of what goes on inside.”
Molin is going to Roseville Lutheran Church as an interim pastor. His last service at Our Savior’s is June 9.
Molin said his career has been a loop, starting at Our Savior’s on an 1981 internship, then working at West Coast churches, only to return to Our Savior’s.
“I grew up in Roseville, so this almost feels like the loop is just continuing going forward. I’ve been able to connect with people at baptisms, weddings, illnesses and funerals. It’s been a great call for me and it’s been gratifying,” he said.
Growing up “unchurched,” Molin said his call to ministry became relatively clear to him in high school and college when he was introduced to faith through an organization called Young Life. He worked in youth ministry for eight years and felt directed to help a broader church community.
For Molin, his work’s impact is found in connections made with his congregation.
“More than anything it’s the sense of community in general, The important thing isn’t necessarily learning or building a sense of community. Our members and friends find community,” Molin said. “Our motto is ‘Grounded in faith, Gathered in love, and sent with a purpose so that others may gain the kingdom.’ It’s written on everything we do, inscribed in our entrance and our faith is deep and it’s purpose is to share faith. There’s just a real sense of welcome, unity, and caring.”
Molin feels he has had a very good ride with few challenges. One challenge surfaced in 2009 when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) national assembly voted to allow homosexual pastors to serve their congregations.
“Some people left because of the decision and it was hard to see people moving to different churches. There was some discomfort but the majority decided to stay. Thankfully that’s the only major challenge. I’ve had a very good run here,” he said. “It’s like a family. We disagreed, we continued to love each other, but some of those relationships have been stretched. We chose not to focus on the decision. The main thing was forgiveness in Christ and that we continued to love and serve with one another.”
Molin said he is about three years away from retirement heading to his last call. He could serve Roseville Lutheran anywhere from nine months to two years. He will provide worship leadership and prepare the congregation for a new pastor and might serve as an interim pastor for other churches for a short period after retirement.
“The time in Stillwater has been a really good fellowship with other churches in town. There’s not really a competitive spirit between us, and I enjoyed that,” he said.
When Molin leaves Our Savior’s, pastoral colleagues Linda Friesen and Dawn Alitz will be interim pastors for several months.
When it comes to managing the sign that put Our Savior’s on the map, Molin said that task is for someone else.
“I don’t know, but it ain’t me,” he said laughing. “Maybe we can slip it into the janitor’s job description or something,”