The Academy – July 2020

The NALC is committed to the renewal of all our congregations, working to develop and deliver resources that challenge and open the NALC to the work of the Holy Spirit in our ministry and mission.

Join us for a special session of The Academy: Seeds For A Culture Change. Throughout society, as well as the mission and ministry of the church, some forced paradigm shifts have been happening, that this pandemic has now blown wide open. We don’t know what it will look like going forward, but it will be different. But what can we plant now while the ground is torn up? What seeds can be put in the system to grow from later as new norms are put in place post-pandemic?

Join us for July’s session of The Academy.  Pastor Tony Ede will host Pastor David Wendel, Lynn Kickingbird, and Pastor Dona Johnson on Tuesday, July 14th at 11:00 AM EST. Join us on social media: Facebook Live or join via Zoom.


Pastor Tony Ede graduated from Waldorf College, where he earned an associate of arts in electronic communications and a bachelor of arts in multimedia communications. Graduating from Luther Seminary in 2006, Tony worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the homiletics department, helping to teach classes on using media and technology in worship and preaching.  Pastor Ede has served at Bethany Lutheran Churches in the Danish Village of Kimballton, Iowa; as the teaching pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Webster City, Iowa; and currently serves as the senior pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran in Manchester, Iowa. As part of his commitment to lifelong learning, Tony earned an MBA in 2017 from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, with a concentration in organizational development. Following a long family tradition, Tony is a nationally certified firefighter and EMT and has used these skills to serve in the community, as well as in disaster response statewide. Tony was married to LeAnn at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hampton, Iowa, on August 17th, 2002. They have three sons that keep them busy: Carver, Liam and Burke.

Presenters and Panelists:

The Rev. Dr. David Wendel graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication. He is a 1981 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and served his internship at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Los Alamos, N.M. He served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hobbs, N.M., before being called to Saint Luke’s in Colorado Springs in 1986. He earned a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from the Association of Chicago Theological Schools in 2001.  Pastor Wendel serves as the Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism,  assisting congregations in finding pastors and assisting pastors in finding calls in NALC congregations. He also serves as the Bishop’s representative by responding to invitations, addressing concerns, representing the NALC and finding opportunities to foster and further the NALC’s ecumenical and inter-Lutheran commitments.   In 30 years of parish ministry, Pastor Wendel gained valuable hands-on experience that assists today in his work with many congregations in the NALC assisting with visioning, healing and renewal, especially focusing on pastor/parish relationships. Pastor Wendel and his wife, Susan Riches, make their home in Jacksonville, Florida.  They enjoy living close to the beach and spending as much time as they can with their two adult children and spouses, two grandsons, and two granddaughters.

Lynn Kickingbird serves as a member of the NALC’s Executive Council. In Edmond, Oklahoma, she is a member of Peace Lutheran Church and has worked for nonprofits, the university, museum, and Kickingbird Associates, serving as a consultant dealing with governance, program development, mediation, strategic visioning, evaluation, and training. Lynn has served in the Body of Christ is a variety of capacities – leading Bethel Bible Studies, the Navigators 2:7 Series, serving as a member of the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee, helping lead the GCS Mission Team, and serving on a variety of sub-committees. She generously shares her time serving in the NALC with her focus on leadership, teaching, and strategic planning.

Lynn’s husband, Kirke, serves as an attorney (specializing in Indian law). They both enjoy time cooking, gardening, and especially spending time with their children and grandchildren.

The Rev. Dona Johnson is the pastor of GracePointe and is an ordained pastor in the NALC. Her ministry experience includes congregational life, teaching, stewardship, and mental health. Pastor Dona also serves as the chair of the NALC’s Living and Giving Stewardship Team.

Pastor Dona has also chaired a mental health denominational task force and the board of directors for The Castle, a nonprofit day drop-in program for those who live with mental illness and disabilities. Prior to serving as a pastor in the NALC, she also served as an architecture professor at two universities. Pastor Dona holds a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH, a Masters of Science in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati and a Fellow with AIA/AHA. She lives with her husband Mike in Sedona, AZ. She loves to teach, hike, and read.

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