Fritz leading home church as interim pastor


To say Michael Fritz is familiar with Bethlehem United Church of Christ would be an understatement.
The 2005 Maple Lake High School graduate was baptized and confirmed in the local congregation.
Fast-forward a few years and now Fritz is serving as the interim pastor at his home church.
During those years, Fritz graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2008, began earning his Masters of Divinity at the Iliff School of Theology at the University of Denver and completed the degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Boston. He returned to the area in the fall to serve as a chaplain intern at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
In January and February, he served as a supply pastor at Bethlehem UCC.
“I never considered myself a candidate for the interim pastor position,” Fritz said. “When they asked me to be interim pastor, I was very surprised.”
In the church’s newsletter, the church council explained the process that led to interviewing Fritz for the position.
“The congregation has shared with us how much they like Michael and are inspired by his worship services,” the letter said. “Our youth were sharing how much they enjoyed confirmation, also. After reviewing profiles and interviewing interim candidates, we came to the realization that maybe Michael would be the best candidate.”
Fritz’s licensing was approved on Feb. 20 and he started his new position on March 1.
He believes the timing couldn’t be better.
“I believe it’s wonderfully appropriate that our time together begins with the season of Lent,” Fritz wrote in the church newsletter. “Forty days of stillness, of observance, of liberating humility and with the anticipation for the work of God to begin is a fantastic preparation for the time ahead of us.
More information appears in this week's Messenger.