New Rosemount pastor aims to share grace of God, community blessings
A new Rosemount pastor desires for others to discover love through the grace of God, even in a world divided.
The Rev. Greg Strunk, 41, joined the Rosemount United Methodist Church this summer. Prior to moving his family to Rosemount, he led congregations as a pastor in Red Wing and Pine Island.
His wife Jill has been helping their three children Alayna, 13, Mathias, 10, and Corinna, 6, become acquainted with the community of Rosemount.
Since July 1, Strunk officially joined the pastoral team of three full-time pastors and one part-time minister. Strunk believes many choose not to attend church today for a variety of reasons.
“One thing that really drives me is there are really so many individuals or a large segment of our society who I believe have been hurt by church or are disinterested, or the whole faith or Jesus does not make any sense to them, so they do not understand why they should give their time and energy,” Strunk said.
“I want to share God’s blessing and help them experience his love that is powerful and amazing,” Strunk added. “I want to help others get beyond ourselves, and it can be huge, especially in a time when we are so divided. We can learn about the grace that Jesus gave us that can be so powerful,” he added.
Born in Ontario, Canada, he has lived in Minnesota for most of his life. His father worked as a geologist before becoming a pastor.
“I told myself I would never follow in his father’s footsteps,” Strunk said. “I thought church was boring and it did not make sense. God did not make a lot of sense and the whole Jesus dying and raising did not make a lot of sense.”
“My parents challenged me before I threw it all away to read the Bible and pray for a minute every day, that is 365 days,” he said. “They said if you don’t experience something in the midst of that, and I would not say it was life changing, but it was enough that I felt there was something powerful when I am doing this,” Strunk said. “I kept asking good questions to good people,” Strunk said.
As a sophomore in college, he attended a Christian conference center in the summer where he experienced the call. “It took my life in a completely different direction,” Strunk said. “I got to a place where I did not mind being a church person,” he said.
But, he was still doubtful. He struggled with “the idea of giving my whole life to God, and the idea of living with God at the center of who I was and being passionate about God.”
He decided to enroll in a business program at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. “I still wanted to make money and get rich in business or financial planning, and I put the Bible down,” he said.
“It was very serendipitous, God was leading me in the midst of all of that, but I still thought I would wait until I was 50 years old so I could make lots of money,” Strunk said.
Then he decided to study theology at Ashbury Theological Seminary in Wilmar, Kentucky. Strunk learned how the Bible can apply to living.
“It is how you bring the word of God to life today and how you bring theology together with being a good student of humanity because the bottom line is you have to have a great understanding of people,” he said.
Strunk wants to help people understand how God’s Word can help them become the most loving versions of themselves.
“We do not have a natural tendency to be generous or there would be no poor or no one in poverty,” Strunk said. “Our natural tendency is not to see God’s image in others.”
Strunk will help the church grow and open a multi-site campus next February. There will be another Methodist congregation that will worship at Carmike Theatre in Apple Valley.
“Rosemount has looked at our heart and how we should move forward, and we believe this is where the congregation is looking to go,” Strunk said.
“Jesus asks us to be disciples and go out into the world and be a blessing and so this is something the congregation has been praying about.”