St. John welcomes new pastor

St. John Lutheran Church of Merrill welcomed new associate pastor Nathan Kramer, who was installed May 22. Kramer joins administrative Pastor David Szeto in serving the St. John congregation.

Kramer, a native of California, comes to Merrill after serving a church in Ottawa, Ill., for the past four years.

Kramer’s path to the Lutheran ministry took him through a four-year stint as a teacher at a Catholic high school in East Los Angeles.

“I’ve always been into trying to teach and help people with issues and connecting them to Christ,” Kramer said.

After four years of teaching English and math at Sacred Heart of Mary High School, decided to enroll in Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis. He took his first call at the church in Ottawa, Ill.

Kramer took the call to serve the much larger St. John congregation partly because he was impressed with the church and the community.

“I liked the opportunities that the church and school provided,” Kramer said. “Merrill seemed to be a good town with good people.”

Kramer arrives at a time when St. John is deeply involved in helping tornado victims by coordinating volunteer workers and providing meals for the volunteers.

“That is impressive,” Kramer said. “It seems that they really didn’t do it for recognition, they did it to help people.”

Pastor Kramer has also found himself pitching in to prepare meals for victims and volunteers.

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