2020 Annual Gathering

Farewell to Mark Vander Tuig

October 5, 2020 • Mark Vander Tuig

Mark Vander Tuig served as Service Coordinator for Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ from 2010-2020. For the first ten years of his ministry he served congregations in Minnesota: Montevideo and St. Cloud. In 1990, he and his family moved to Altoona, Iowa where he served Lutheran Church of the Cross until 2010. During those 20 years the congregation grew from 74 in worship to over 1,100 each weekend. Pastor Vander Tuig and Lutheran Church of the Cross are charter members of LCMC. Mark also served on the first Ministry Board of LCMC for seven years. Mark graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1976 with Bachelor’s degrees in both Religion and Psychology, from Luther Seminary in 1980 with a Master’s of Divinity degree, and from St. Mary’s College in 1985 with a Master’s of Counseling and Psychological Services. Mark also was part of a certification program with the University of Minnesota in Chemical Dependency Counseling and Education. Mark and Candice were married in 1974, have two grown daughters: Laura and Matt Lukens (and daughter Elliot) of Bloomington, Minnesota, and Emily and Noah Ruppert (and son Joel and daughter Hannah) of Pleasant Hill, Iowa. Mark and Candice live in Altoona, Iowa.

Keynote Presentation #1

October 5, 2020 • Gemechis Buba

The Reverend Doctor Gemechis Desta Buba currently serves as Assistant to the Bishop for Mission for the North American Lutheran Church. He is originally from Ethiopia and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and three children. Dr. Buba received a Bachelor of Theology with high distinction from Mekane Yesus Theological Seminary, where he served as a professor for two years. After working on a Masters of Theology in Church History in the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, he moved to the United States for further studies. In 2003, he received his Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Christian Education from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA. In May, 2006, Dr. Buba earned a Doctorate Degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA, specializing in missional leadership. Dr. Buba was ordained in 2001. He has served as a seminary professor, mission developer, senior pastor, vice president of the Southeastern Black Lutheran Pastors’ Conference, assistant to the bishop of Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod (ELCA), director of African National Ministries (ELCA), and president of the worldwide Union of Oromo Evangelical Churches. He was pastor of St. Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church and the African/Oromo Lutheran Church in Atlanta, GA. In addition to academic study and ordained ministry, Dr. Buba participates in multiple international ministries through speaking, leading revivals, leadership development conventions, and evangelical mission events.

Keynote Presentation #2

October 5, 2020 • Matt Randerson

Barna Group’s Director of Business Development, Matt Randerson, manages new initiatives and partnerships that help leaders gain insights into faith groups and the general population’s perspectives on faith and cultural issues. Prior to joining Barna, Matt spent several years working in innovation and development for a financial services company. He earned his B.A in Pastoral Ministry from Lee University. Matt currently resides in Atlanta, GA.

Installation of Mike Bradley

October 5, 2020 • Mike Bradley

Installation of new Service Coordinator Mike Bradley at LCMC's 20th Annual Gathering & Convention on October 5, 2020 at North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills, MN. Mike brings 40 plus years of leadership and ministry experience, having served in Lutheran congregations in Nebraska (Christ Lutheran Church) and South Dakota (Trinity Lutheran Church) as a youth pastor, worship leader, associate pastor, and senior pastor. He also served as President for The Master’s Institute Seminary for ten years and most recently, as Director for the Alliance of Renewal Churches (ARC). Mike is passionate about helping leaders and congregations create an atmosphere that is a safe place for developing healthy leaders and disciples in the church, and equipping God’s people for lives of effective witness and ministry in the world. He is the author of the book, Being a Safe Place for the Dangerous Kind, in which he articulates the essential connection between solid theology and healthy practice in mission and ministry. Mike enjoys sports of all kinds, having served as a high school basketball and baseball coach while serving Trinity Lutheran Church in Rapid City, South Dakota. He and his wife of forty-two years, Debi, enjoy reading, hiking, and swimming, and Mike enjoys the occasional golf outing. They have five adult children – Andrew Michael, Joseph Ross, Rachel Christine, Stephen Daniel and Benjamin John, and three grandsons – Michael, Isaac, and Lucas. Mike and Debi live in Gilbert, Arizona with their three-year old white Labrador, Maggie Mae.