By Julie Ann Madden
An Akron pastor has accepted a call to team ministry for the congregations of Slayton and Avoca, Minn.
Rev. Dawn Quame, who has been Immanuel Lutheran Church’s pastor for 7.5 years, is returning to her Minnesotan roots.
“I grew up in Mankato, and my family lives there,” said Quame. “It’ll be nice to be closer to them.”
“I will be the second pastor for the two congregations,” explained Quame. “I’m excited to work with another pastor.”
The congregations are definitely bigger than the Akron congregation, she said, adding Slayton alone has 800 members compared to Immanuel which has under 300 members.
One of her main responsibilities will be providing youth ministry. She served as a youth director before she completed seminary.
“I’ve always been impressed with our youth here,” said Quame. “To see our youth involved and the little kids, too.”
“Their enthusiasm has been great,” she said, adding connecting with the youth, learning their names has been a priority of mine. “It’s so much fun to go to a basketball game and hear ‘Hi, Pastor Dawn,’ from a three-year-old.”
“I’ll miss that,” said Quame. “It’ll take a while for that to come around in a new place.”
Quame told The Akron Hometowner she’ll miss the relationships she has had here.
“I feel like I was very connected in the community,” she said. “This is a great community. That’s a great strength — being connected with the ministerial association and the schools.”
Under her pastoral leadership, the congregation celebrated Immanuel Lutheran Church’s 100th anniversary.
“I can’t say I was instrumental in this but I got to be a part of it, and that was exciting,” said Quame.
She also witnessed the finale of the YoMaCos, the young married couples’ club.
“They were really a solid group of people,” said Quame. “They still are — the ones that are still around.”
In addition to serving as Immanuel’s pastor, Quame served as president of the Akron Area Ministerial Association the past two years.
She was also instrumental in founding the Akron-Westfield School Backpack Program, which supplies food to students who may go hungry when school is not in session.
The program, in its second year, serves about 50 students.
“It’s something we can do,” said Quame. “Sometimes it’s so overwhelming to look at the needs and stuff but it is something that is very doable. It’s great to see a whole community come together to do it.”
“I hope it continues,” she said, adding it has some great volunteers who help collect, store and pack the food items at the Akron Senior Center. “It probably will continue.”
Immanuel Lutheran Church was her first pastorate.
Now, congregational leaders will be working with the Western Iowa Synod to fill this vacancy, said Quame, adding she doesn’t expect there will be any pastoral assignments made until after a new bishop is elected the end of April. “It can take a couple of years to fill a vacancy.”
Her final day at Immanuel will be Sunday, Feb. 17.