From left to right, the Rev. Andy Yee, assistant to the bishop, ELCA NW Washington Synod; the Rev. Tormod Svensson and his wife, Neeva Svensson, at an installation service Oct. 28 for Rev. Svensson at Kent Lutheran Church. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent Lutheran Church

From left to right, the Rev. Andy Yee, assistant to the bishop, ELCA NW Washington Synod; the Rev. Tormod Svensson and his wife, Neeva Svensson, at an installation service Oct. 28 for Rev. Svensson at Kent Lutheran Church. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent Lutheran Church

New pastor to deliver Christmas message at Kent Lutheran Church

The Rev. Tormod Svensson first new pastor in 24 years at the downtown church

A new pastor will deliver the Christmas message at Kent Lutheran Church for the first time in 24 years.

The Rev. Tormod Svensson has replaced Pastor Jane Prestbye, who retired in January 2023 after 24 years at the downtown church, 336 Second Ave. S. The church celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2019.

Svensson began work in October. He was born and raised in Norway. He has a doctor of ministry from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

“I’m not your typical pastor,” said Svensson, whose smile lets you know that he is okay with that, according to a Dec. 12 Kent Lutheran Church press release. “No topic is taboo. Clergy shouldn’t be afraid to discuss difficult questions.”

Prior to coming to Kent, Svensson served as transitional pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania and also as mission developer at The Table, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) inclusive faith community in Bloomsburg.

With a heart for social justice Svensson welcomes all, especially those who have been hurt by the church, the unchurched and the marginalized, according to the church press release. He sees his mission at Kent Lutheran as seeking out innovative and creative ways to be the church in a rapidly changing world.

Pointing to the church’s partnerships with civic leaders and organizations, its support of free community supper programs and serving the disenfranchised, Svensson calls Kent Lutheran a perfect fit for him.

Svensson and his wife, Neeva Svensson, live in Renton.

On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, Kent Lutheran Church will have an Advent service at 9:30 a.m., a family candlelight service at 5 p.m. and a traditional candlelight service at 9 p.m.




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The Rev. Tormod Svensson

The Rev. Tormod Svensson

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