Congregation Approves Recommendation to Call Pastor Brian Julin-McCleary

At Sunday's special Congregation Meeting, the congregation overwhelmingly supported the motion to approve extending a call to Pastor Brian Julin-McCleary as our new Senior Pastor. We are so excited to be looking to the future and joyfully taking God's love into the world with Pastor Brian and his family.  The below is a letter Pastor Brian prepared, expressing his excitement and giving a little bit of additional information on himself and his family. 

Greetings Folks of St. John Lutheran Cedar Falls!


My name is Brian Julin-McCleary and I am grateful to be a Pastor in the ELCA. More than that I'm grateful to be pursued foolishly by God and given an identity as beloved child of God. My spouse of 17 years, Natalie, and I have adventured from Seattle (her hometown and my college town) to St. Paul, MN and Texas (Seminary days), back to Washington State to serve at Holden Village for two years and then to Nebraska where we've served for going on 8 years (her as a domestic violence advocate in a local social service agency and me in an ELCA congregation). Our daughter, Sophie, is a 12 year old with a gift for working with little kids, loves her dance competition team, and volleyball. Our son, Toby, is a 14 year old musician, basketball/baseball player, and focused student with an eye toward a career in veterinary medicine. They both astound me in their excellent academic work and positive contributions to the school atmosphere (whereas I took longer than many to adjust to doing other than getting attention!). All four of us are dedicated musical theater fans and participants. Natalie has directed the last several productions at our local high school and been involved in community theater productions throughout her life. Seeing "Hamilton" in Omaha this past fall was a highlight of the year for each of us and if you ever need a complete rendition, check in with Sophie.

I am a proud graduate of Cedar Falls High School (class of '98), after which I majored in "life experience" for a few years, serving in different ministry ways including a year as a Young Adults in Global Mission (a great ELCA program) volunteer in Liverpool, U.K. Natalie's family lives in Seattle though her Father has recently begun talks with us to move to our location while continuing to live independently. My parents live in Cedar Rapids now, as does my older sister and her family. We have loved life and ministry in our current context but have been recently open to new challenges and an opportunity to be in closer proximity to family.

I am a grateful recovering alcoholic, sober for eight and a half years. Through the grace of God, the AA program and the gift of rigorous honesty I have been given the daily opportunity for fuller life and more empathetic ministry. Besides Scripture, lots of coffee, and rich conversation about faith and life, I enjoy being outdoors hiking and biking (having spent many hours and days at George Wyth); I am an Iowa Hawkeyes fan and a devoted follower of Liverpool Football Club (currently having an insanely good's the time to get on the wagon if you've not yet got a European team to support).

I look forward to the opportunity to share in your life and faith, pointing together to Jesus and bearing our wounds for the sake of the world God so desperately loves and desires to see made new (on both a grand scale and in the minutiae of our individual lives).

In resurrection hope,

Pastor Brian  

December 2019 update

The Call Committee has been meeting every week since June 26.  We completed the required Ministry Site Profile for St. John and this fall we started receiving Rostered Ministry Profiles of interested candidates. 


The process of receiving profiles and interviewing candidates will be on-going process until our mission to search for a pastor of St. John is completed.


The committee would like to express their gratitude for your continued patience and prayers during this intentional interim process. 


We have heard you, we are listening to you, and your wishes are always at the forefront of our search.  

Nov 2019 update

Since the last update on October 6, the call committee interviewed two pastors in person. In the meantime, St John received three more names of pastors from the synod. The call committee conducted a video interview with one of them and will follow up with an in-person interview. We have scheduled a video interview with the second and are still evaluating the third person. So far, nine pastors have expressed interest in the pastor position at St. John. Five of them have been interviewed via video, two were interviewed in person, one candidate dropped out of the process, and one has not yet been discussed by the committee. We are making progress on this critically important call for St. John.

October 6, 2019 update

Six pastors notified the Synod that they were interested in St. John. The Call Committee reviewed those applications and interviewed three candidates, two of whom will be interviewed a second time. All nominations by the congregation have been submitted to the Synod, who will notify the Call Committee if any of the nominees want to pursue a call at St. John.

Thank you for continuing to keep the Call Process, the Call Committee, and all Pastors seeking a call, discerning a call, and affirming a call in your prayers!


July 14, 2019 update

The Call Committee has been working hard since our commissioning, meeting weekly. We have been prayerfully working through the first of the 4 phases of the call process. We are currently in the learning and development period. This is the time where we have reviewed and studied the Transitional Task Force Report. We have heard what you as a congregation would like to see in the future of St. John, and have been taking that information to complete the Ministry Site Profile, MSP. This is the document that is submitted to the synod and what candidates will read about St. John. The MSP will be the first glimpse of us to the candidates.

Once the first phase is complete we will then enter the 2nd phase, which is the search period. This is when we begin to get a pool of candidates to go through and narrow down. Please understand this is a process, we are prayerfully working through the process of taking our time to make sure that we have found a candidate that is passionate about the direction we chose with the TTF.

We are working quickly through a long process, please be mindful that this will take time, months to find the candidate that God has picked for us as a congregation.

We would like to thank everyone for their prayers during this time, and ask that you continue to pray during this period. If you have questions, please ask any member of the Call Committee. Thank you!

Entering the Call Process

God has called us to a new time in our life as St. John Lutheran Church. It is a time for reflection and prayer, a time for self-examination and seeking, a time for expectation and hope. The following persons have been selected by the Church Council to serve on the Call Committee and were commissioned as part of the June 9 worship service:

Call Committee Voting Members: Erin McClellan- Facilitator of the Committee; Logan Burke; Barb Walker; Bekah Bass; Sandy Andorf; Sandra Stavnes; Lori Schneider; Beth Bobeldyk; Adam Puls

Call Committee Ex-Officio Members: Robin Abraham; Brian Burkhardt; Joyce Broell - Recording Secretary

Please keep them in your prayers as they begin this important work.