St. John’s Lutheran Church of Mound announces the arrival of Rev. Prondzinski as Senior Pastor.
Pastor Ryan, as he is called, is excited to be at St. John’s and living in the Mound area.
“I can see that God is up to something at St. John’s and in this community,” Prondzinski said. “As I get to know the members of the congregation and the staff, and dream with them a little, I see how our gifts can intermingle to generate excitement and purpose. With this call to St. John’s, God has placed me right where I need to be.”
Originally from Indiana, Prondzinski was ordained in 2016 and most recently served at a congregation in Michigan. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree of fine arts and received his Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Before becoming a pastor, he served in the Air Force National Guard from 2005-2011, working as a Crew Chief performing aircraft inspections and maintenance.
Pastor Ryan loves the outdoors including biking, hiking, and fishing, and in his free time he enjoys games of all sorts, especially bowling. When asked how he feels about returning to Minnesota, Prondzinski said, “A piece of my heart has always lived in Minnesota. From a very early age I would fish at Leech Lake Minnesota with my family every summer. Then I attended Luther Seminary and made some of my best friends and colleagues here in Minnesota. So being in Mound as pastor at St. John’s is very much like a homecoming for me.”
The task of bringing Prondzinski to the area was the result of innumerable volunteer hours reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates for the position. According to Call Committee chair, Tamra Leif, Pastor Ryan was the right choice because “He has the gifts to bring connection…with the church council to lead the church towards our mission; with the staff to successfully run our ministry; with congregants by engaging empathetically to support spiritual growth. He enables connection to God’s word through welcoming and inspiring sermons and is seeking to build connection with community partners. Pastor Ryan REALLY wants to have relationships with those he meets. You feel heard and understood when you talk with Pastor Ryan. You feel like you matter.”
Matt Bruch, church council member, agrees, “When I first met Pastor Ryan I was struck by his energy and ability to connect with people. He’s very authentic and genuinely wants to share the love of Christ with everyone he meets. He will be a great leader for St. John’s because he has the energy and charisma to take on the challenges we face as a congregation. Even in these early days of his ministry here in Mound I have seen Pastor Ryan seeking to learn, listening to folks and forging connections. He’s jumping right in, and I’m so glad to see how engaged he is in such a short time.”
Prondzinski’s goals for the congregation and community demonstrate his enthusiasm. “I hope we of St. John’s can be a community enmeshed in the Westonka area and beyond, so that people come to know who we are, to know we love them, and want to be a part of our community too.
St. John’s Lutheran Church of Mound, a congregation of the ELCA, was founded in 1927 and over the past 95 years has been a place of worship, fellowship and mission serving the Westonka community. The congregation is led by Senior Pastor Ryan Prondzinski and Interim Associate Pastor Matt Johnson.