Pastoral Leadership in a Pandemic

A raw, honest conversation about the
heart-wrenching decisions church leaders are facing.

Pastoral Leadership in a Pandemic is a conversation with three gifted, faithful pastors in three different contexts.

The conversation is FREE. Invite your friends and colleagues to join you for this experience!

In this raw and honest conversation, you will get a look inside the challenges of leading normal congregations in a pandemic.

  • What are the most difficult decisions they have had to make?
  • How did they manage the inevitable disappointment of those who disagreed?
  • What are the biblical narratives that have come alongside them?

Pastor Dan Kuckuck, Pastor Julie Higgs, and Pastor Minna Bothwell are our panelists. They are colleagues in ministry in Iowa. They serve in different contexts, face different challenges, and come from different generations. Pastor Louise Johnson will serve as moderator for the conversation where you, too, will have the chance to ask questions.

Join LEAD for this insightful conversation into church leadership.

This video was recorded live on September 3, 2020.

As we live out our purpose at LEAD to grow deep, bold, consequential faith, we invite you to partner with us. Your donation allows us to offer resources like this for leaders like YOU!

Listen in on this very real conversation about life and leadership in 2020.

Who should come?

Church council leaders
Judicatory leaders
Church leaders

Meet the Pastors

Pastor Minna Bothwell

Capitol Hill Lutheran Church
Des Moines, Iowa

Rev. Minna Bothwell has been serving in her first call at Capitol Hill Lutheran Church in the East Village of Des Moines, IA for 6 years. Minna is married to Nat Bothwell, also an ELCA Pastor serving in Slater, IA at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Nat and Minna have one child, Ada Bothwell, who is 2 and adores “assisting” with worship. They also have one dog, Artie, who wishes she was an only child.

Pastor Julie Higgs

Grace Lutheran Church
Adel, Iowa

Pastor Julie Higgs is a Colorado native who has called Iowa her home for the last 28 years. A second-career pastor, Julie first received a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan and worked as a health care fiscal and policy analyst for the California State Legislature before moving to Iowa. A “double-Burger” (a graduate of both Wartburg College and Wartburg Theological Seminary), Julie has been an ordained ELCA pastor for over 24 years. She served as an associate and a solo pastor in congregations on the Iowa side of the Quad-Cities, and then served as an assistant to the bishop in Iowa City. While in Iowa City she completed a Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. For the last seven years she has served as pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Adel, a Des Moines-area town that is transitioning from its rural roots to a rapidly growing suburban community. In just a matter of days, she will leave for three months on her first-ever sabbatical, not that she’s counting or anything.

Julie and her already-retired husband, Keith Staley, live in Adel with their rescue dog Jessie, a fiercely protective Schnauzer/Australian Shepherd mix. A truck and travel trailer sit in their driveway ready to sweep the three of them off to spend the fall following the beauty of the leaves changing colors in the Colorado mountains and the upper Midwest or New England, as well as trips around Iowa visiting their four grandchildren. A pianist who dabbles with other instruments, Julie plans to learn to play the drums, quilt more successfully, and increase the amount of time she spends in the Rocky Mountains.

Pastor Dan Kuckuck

St. Stephen Lutheran Church
Urbandale, Iowa

Dan Kuckuck has served as pastor of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Urbandale, Iowa since 2013. St. Stephen, a mid-size church in the midst of a changing neighborhood, has spent the last years reconnecting with the community and restructuring its ministry and governance for a 21st-century context. Dan is passionate about accompanying people of faith as they make sense of God’s activity in daily life, and about helping communities of faith discover renewed approaches to ministry.

Dan has been a consultant with LEAD since 2018 and is a trained spiritual director. He received a B.A. in Religious Studies and Psychology from the University of Virginia, an M.Div. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2010, with post-graduate work at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN. He’s married to Minda, who he met at a Fall theological conference, and they’re the parents of Olivia and Zoe, a 80-lb lab named Luna, and a 15-year-old cat named Ditto.