Mission and Ministry » Meet the Pastor and Staff

Pastor Dan Doering

YOU MIGHT NOT GUESS HE'S A PASTOR if you met him on the street. You'll find him most Sundays preaching in jeans, or in the summer time, in shorts. He's approachable, unassuming and nonjudgmental.

Though you'll seldom find him in priestly garb, his pastoral heart is always apparent. Pastor Dan is a very compassionate man whose life is marked by acts of kindness.

It's his deep commitment to service as a lifestyle that makes him a great fit for the congregation of volunteers at People of Hope. They think "outside of the box" to help one another and others in need; like bringing bagged turkey sandwich lunches to people who have to work on Thanksgiving Day and making sure moms at the Women's Shelter have plenty of toys provided to "shop" from for their children at Christmas.

Together, they nurture a culture of volunteerism where ongoing support for the local food shelf; programs to assist person and families experiencing homelessness; and the Women's Shelter are habitual and ongoing commitments.

Many find Pastor Dan's sermons easy to understand and apply to their daily lives, addressing real life questions of life and faith. He believes in the power of Christian community to heal and transform lives and to make a difference in our world. And he's dedicated to facilitating an authentic, inclusive community environment that nurtures faith and welcomes all people.

Want to talk with Pastor Dan? Email him at pastordan@peopleofhope.com, he'll be happy to set up a time to visit.

Pastoral Intern: Alex Aivars

I was baptized into the Lutheran church as an infant and have continued to be Lutheran all of my life. Growing up in Kalamazoo, MI, I attended Sunday school and youth group regularly at Trinity Lutheran Church. I thought briefly about being a pastor my senior year of high school, but instead choose to pursue a degree in architecture.

After a semester of architecture school in Detroit, I realized that that was not what I wanted to do with my life. I then returned to my hometown to figure out what I wanted to major in. After taking classes in a variety of areas, I ended up with an Associate's degree in Liberal Arts and then a Bachelor's degree in English with a minor in music. After graduating with my Bachelor's degree I fell into a job at Western Michigan University working in Web development, where I continued to work for seven years.

During college I attending my home church sporadically. After graduating from college, I started going regularly to my home church once again. A few years later a young adult potluck formed that I attended regularly. Later, when a young adult Bible study started and then faltered, I took it upon myself to keep it going.

In the fall of 2013 my pastor planted the idea into my head about going to seminary. I did not think much of it at the time. But then during the following January, while attending a gay Christian network conference, I received a clear call to go to seminary. After discerning for a year and a half whether seminary was right for me, I entered the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in the fall of 2015.

I have a deep passion for a contemporary style of worship, especially contemporary Christian music. I have also been increasingly interested in church planting and redevelopment. 

Office and Communications Coordinator: Lydia

Musician: Lezli Kuster