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Zion welcomes Pastor Kim Swenson

January 10, 2020
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

The congregation at Zion Lutheran Church welcomed Pastor Kim Swenson to Dysart as the Iowa native begins her first days with the church.

"I am really excited to be here among people with good values and are kind, loving people interested in making their community better," Swenson said.

Swenson was born and raised in Belmond, where her parents and brother still reside to this day. She graduated from Belmond-Klemme High School in 1993 and went to Luther College in Decorah for her Pre-Med degree. However, Swenson found herself "bored out of her mind" while job shadowing over the summer between her junior and senior year. In addition to her studies, she worked a summer camp all through her college years and discovered her passion for youth ministry. For several years, Swenson worked as Youth Director.

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Pastor Kim Swenson of Zion Lutheran Church returns to her home state after preaching in Berkley, CA.

"I really loved youth ministry and worked part-time doing camp and working at a church in Illinois and Ames," Swenson said. "I got tired of learning how to play games with kids. What I really wanted to learn was how to do better theology with kids. A seminary in Dubuque started having these part-time programs. The first class convinced me to go back to seminary to be a better Youth Director as a pastor."

Before coming to Dysart, Swenson preached at a church in Berkley, CA. While she enjoyed the "perfect weather" in California, it took her far from her family and friends. Over time, she looked for opportunities back in the Midwest and took advantage of an opening in Dysart. By December, Swenson and her son moved to the community.

"I came here and fell in love with the people and the place, which remind me so much of Belmond," Swenson said. "We have slowly gotten to know the town. The people have been gracious and kind. We've hardly met them, yet they've showered us with welcomes."

As a preacher, Swenson wants to focus on the need to show love to one another regardless of political differences in this election year.

"We have a mandate to love one another, even if it's hard and we do not always agree," Swenson said. "As a community, we must continue to support, encourage and love one another."

Swenson states she is excited to be involved with the youth ministry and have it been a "stronger" part of the community going forward. She hopes the ministry can find new ways to volunteer and give that works well with the youth. Swenson is a former volunteer EMT in Belmond and is considering returning to the field. She and her son, Malik, are currently settling into their new home with their new dog, Apollo. Swenson is a "voracious" reader, enjoys biking and binge watching Netflix.



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