In Staff Announcements

After two and a half years as Rural Ministry Liaison, Pastor Alan Blankenfeld has submitted his resignation to Bishop Constanze Hagmaier.  

“For the last 2 and a half years, I have had the privilege to serve on the synod staff as the Rural Ministry Liaison, a time that I treasure,” said Pastor Alan. “I have had the opportunity to walk with 40 churches in times of transition. I have met a lot of great people of God from all walks of life and I value the friendships that have developed. I have been able to have coffee with many people who are now either thinking about or are taking seminary classes.

“I have found that as I enjoyed the call to synod staff, I have missed being with a congregation and the pastoral care that accompanies the people daily. I had an opportunity to once again be open to a call to serve a rural congregation and have decided to accept that call. I will be resigning from the Rural Ministry Liaison position following the Synod Assembly to begin a new call as pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in rural Flandreau.

“So, again I thank the Bishop and the Synod Council for taking a chance on a new ministry idea and to all of you for your support over the past 2 and a half years but now it is time for others to step forward and for me to step back. I know that you will welcome the new director and others the way you welcomed me into your midst. Blessings to you all as together we all journey together in Christ.”

“It is with a deep sense of gratitude for Pastor Alan’s faithful service to the people of the South Dakota Synod and especially the congregations in the rural areas of our synod, that I thank him for all he has done in his time as Rural Ministry Liaison,” said Bishop Constanze Hagmaier. “His authentic love and devotion to all things rural ministry laid the foundation for the growth of the ministry through the generous grant from Lilly Endowment.”

Pastor Alan’s service to our Synod will conclude on June 15. If you would like to send any well-wishes to Pastor Alan or have any questions about the transition, please contact the Synod Office.