LUNENBURG -- The congregation of Pilgrim Covenant Church of Lunenburg rejoices to welcome a new pastor, Ryan Sarenpa.

Pastor Ryan, his wife, Clarissa, and their six children are relocating to Lunenburg from Minnesota, where he has been serving as interim/associate pastor of the International Falls Covenant Church. Previously, he served two other congregations in Minnesota and Kansas.

Pastor Ryan earned a Master of Divinity degree from Bethel Seminary. While his bachelor's degree is from the University of Minnesota, his undergraduate program included a year-long stint at the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts.

In addition to his ministry in local congregations, Pastor Ryan is a chaplain in the Army National Guard. Currently holding the rank of major in the reserve forces, he attended training at the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. During 2005, he was called to active duty in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ministered to a culturally diverse congregation of soldiers and military staff.

As he begins his work in Lunenburg, Pastor Ryan hopes to use his skills as a community builder to help people connect with each other, and also to help the congregation experience God through "immersion by imagination" into the context of Holy Scripture.

In recent years, the Pilgrim congregation had been led by Pastor John Konieczko, who accepted a call to another church in November 2012.


Dale Proulx, chair of the deacon board, had served as interim preacher during the intervening months, with other deacons assisting in leadership.

Part of the Lunenburg community since 1965, Pilgrim Covenant is affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church, a denominational body that includes 800 congregations throughout North America and maintains missionary outreach on five continents.

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