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Church Has a Pastor Plan

February 7, 2019

FITCHBURG -- The Rev. Daniel Spigelmyer originally wanted to teach German.

But after Emanuel Lutheran Church’s new pastor realized he could help people through the church, he couldn’t imagine himself doing anything else.

“Everything came together,” Spigelmyer said. “This must mean this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

Spigelmyer recently moved to Fitchburg from the Philadelphia area and began as the church’s pastor at the beginning of the year. So far, he has enjoyed getting to know the congregation of about 70 on Sundays.

An installation service to commemorate his service at Emanuel Lutheran is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m.

He said the church is a good fit for him because of its positive energy and shared vision for having it play a role in the community.

Spigelmyer’s goals for Emanuel Lutheran include attracting new members and engaging with current ones. He is looking at what works for the church and areas for possible growth.

Spigelmyer is interested in how Emanuel Lutheran could add programming for youths beyond Sunday Bible study, confirmation classes and a summer trip to Camp Calumet in New Hampshire.

The church will continue hosting events like the annual St. Patrick’s Day corned-beef-and-cabbage dinner and partnering for events like the Relay for Life, he said.

Beyond that, the pastor wants to look at ways Emanuel Lutheran can get involved in the community.

“It’s about what we can do with you rather than what we can do for you,” Spigelmyer said.

Fitchburg reminds him of central Pennsylvania. Spigelmyer grew up there in a rural area about 60 miles north of the state capital of Harrisburg.

While attending Millersville College and hoping to pursue that career of teaching German, his adviser suggested that he’d be more suited to law school or politics. When getting into law school didn’t work out, Spigelmyer revisited the idea of becoming a pastor.

“I always played church as a kid, and it was always in the back of my mind,” he said.

After college, Spigelmyer went to seminary school in Philadelphia, where he focused his studies on the Bible and worship. He was ordained in 2015, and his first job as a pastor was at a church outside of the city.

The church was having financial troubles, so Spigelmyer decided to look elsewhere. A friend who is a pastor and lives outside of Boston said to consider New England.

Spigelmyer said he looks forward to exploring the city and learning more about the community.

Follow Mina on Twitter @mlcorpuz.

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