The Rev. Grant T. Bode will be installed as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie, in that congregation's regular Sunday morning services at 8 and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 1.
Officiating at the service will be the Rev. Randy Tonn, who has been serving as St. Paul's assistant vacancy pastor, and the rite of installation will be administered by the Rev. Dr. Lane Seitz, president of the Minnesota South District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The Rev. John Schoenfeld, pastor of St. James Lutheran Church, Howard Lake and a friend of Bode, will deliver the sermon.
A coffee and cake reception during the normal adult education hour at 9:15 a.m. and a potluck dinner at noon will provide Bode with an opportunity to become acquainted with the members of his new parish.
The Bodes will live in the congregation's parsonage, next door to the church, and are expected to arrive in Lester Prairie on Jan. 28.
Born and raised on a dairy farm in the New Ulm area, Bode attended Concordia College, St. Paul, and is a 1994 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind. He spent his year of vicarage, or internship, at Concordia Lutheran Church in South St. Paul and worked as a mental health counselor at Lutheran Hospital of Indiana and Charter Beacon Hospital while a student at the seminary.
Bode returns to his native state of Minnesota from Mattoon, Ill., where he has served as assistant and then, after two years, as associate pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church following his graduation from the seminary.
An avid sports fan, especially of basketball, Bode plans to rekindle his enthusiasm for fishing and hunting after being gone from Minnesota's sky blue waters.
Bode's wife is the former Gail Anderson of St. Paul Park, who also attended Concordia College, St. Paul and graduated from that institution with a bachelor's degree in accounting. The Bodes have two children: Grace, age 3, and Gideon, age 2.
Having retired from their New Ulm dairy farm, Bode's paremts now live at Courtland, Minn. Gail's parents have retired from the school district in St. Paul Park.