Welcome, Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer!
The following information has been helpful in our introduction to our new minister during his candidacy. We’ll leave this up for a while, even though the search is now completed. We hope this helps you know a bit more about Rev. Stevens-Royer.
Introducing Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer • After nearly two years of interim ministry, 10 months in official search, 13 interested ministers, five online interviews, and three weekends of meeting with incredible pre-candidates, we are overjoyed to announce our candidate for settled ministry. Although the Search Committee interviewed ministers from coast to coast and North to South, the person we found is someone who lives “just up the road.”
Truthfully, he found us. He preached in our pulpit once in 2013 and has been working with members of our congregation on MUUSJA (Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance) for the past three years, growing an awareness of who we are and what we are about—even before he read our Search Packet! As he describes it, he felt “a calling” to be with us, a “readiness to lead in a new way,” and a desire to “put down roots” with his family on their beloved Minnesota prairie.
We have invited the Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer, Associate Minister at White Bear UU Church (WBUUC) in Mahtomedi, to come and candidate with us the week of April 29-May 7 and were thrilled when he said yes!
Rev. Stevens-Royer received his Bachelor’s degree in Religion and Vocal Music at Gustavus Adolphus College in 2007 and his Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in 2011. He served as Coordinator of Youth and Campus Ministries at Unity Church – Unitarian in St. Paul, and Intern Minister at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis before being asked to serve as Assistant Minister at WBUUC in 2012, where he was ordained. He was promoted to the role of Associate Minister in 2015.
An accomplished poet (scroll to the bottom of email for a poem), musician, and preacher, Rev. Stevens-Royer impressed us with his thoughtfully crafted sermons, as well as his warmth, humility, vitality, and vision. He has a deeply spiritual and pastoral presence which we connected with immediately. His peers describe him as gentle, kind, justice-seeking, a good listener, “a minister to the ministers,” and “very, VERY smart.”
“From the moment he opened his mouth, I was impressed by and moved by Luke Steven-Royer,” said one of his references, a minister who has known him for 10 years in many capacities.
Rev. Stevens-Royer has been married for 10 years to his high school sweetheart, Jenna, an elementary school teacher with a master’s degree in literacy education. They currently live in St. Paul’s east side, where Jenna teaches in the public schools. They both grew up in Mankato and have two daughters—Louisa, age three and a half (and named for Transcendentalist Unitarian Louisa May Alcott), and Clara, age one (named for Universalist Clara Barton)–and a rescue dog, Lily, who they acquired as newlyweds (and named for the peace lilies that were their wedding plants). While Luke was in seminary for Lutheran ministry, he and Jenna began visiting other churches, and together, found a spiritual home in Unitarian Universalism.
listening deeply, speaking truth in love
casting a circle of welcome, of challenge, of accountability
leading through empowering others
attending to experiences of beauty, love, truth, justice
naming and weeping at the suffering of the world
naming and rejoicing in the wonder and joy of life.
Breathing. Noticing. Listening. Naming.
Opening the heart, and bearing witness to,
possibility and hope and heaven in the here and now.
~ Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer
Search Process and Timeline
Resources for Additional Information
- Transitional Ministry Handbook, Unitarian Universalist Association
- Temporary Shepherds: A Congregational Handbook for Interim Ministry by Roger S. Nicholson. The Alban Institute, 1998. Available in our church library
- In the Interim: Strategies for Interim Ministers and Congregations by Barbara Child and Keith Kron. Skinner House Books, 2013. Available at UUA Bookstore
- The Interim Opportunity, a 15-minute video produced for the Transitions Office of the UUA, along with a planning guide.