New to Emmanuel
Meet our Interim Pastor
Pastor Robert Franek
I have been shaped by living in a variety of places throughout the Midwest and West regions of the country. I was born and lived in a small town in northern North Dakota, but moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, during first grade where I lived through my high school years. I graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota in 2003 with majors in Accounting and Religion and completed my Masters of Divinity at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, in 2007.
I have been active in congregational life for as long as I can remember. I even chanted the Psalms along with the congregation before I was old enough to read them. I was strongly shaped by the small congregation that became a second home for me in my childhood and teen years.
Since high school I have also been interested in the work of the ELCA beyond the congregation in synod and churchwide ministries. This has led me to follow the work of the Church Council, the Conference of Bishops, and various task forces over the years, especially those relating to the development of social statements and Evangelical Lutheran Worship. I am also a strong supporter of our world hunger, disaster relief, and immigration and refugee ministries. Two of my favorite things to talk about are faith and politics as I live out my baptismal commitment to work for justice and peace in all the earth.
I am an avid reader and enjoy a wide variety of subject matter. In addition to theology and biblical studies, I like current events, science (physics to evolutionary biology to sociology), memoir, and occasionally novels. I am usually found carrying around multiple books, magazines, and academic journals. I value scholarship that serves Christ’s mission in the world and have an interest in the changing landscape of theological higher education.
My favorite drink to go with my reading, writing, relaxing, traveling or whatever I’m doing is dark roast coffee. I am a strong supporter of buying fair-trade coffees and always enjoy trying coffee from all around the world, though it seems I have a bias for Southeast Asian coffees and 100% Kona coffee from Hawaii is a special treat.
I have an unquenchable curiosity and enjoy lectures, symposiums, and other continuing education events. I also take pleasure in attending orchestra concerts and listening to choirs like those from Concordia, St. Olaf, Luther, and Augustana Colleges.
The good news for me is best summed up in the following acclamation from the Great Thanksgiving liturgy: Christ had died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. And the life of faith lived in response to this unmerited grace is one of trusting a promise and giving glory to God. To use the Latin: Soli Deo Gloria!