Ruesch and family return home to serve Our Redeemer

The Ruesch family, from left, include Sofia, Isabella and Heather in front, Paul and Matthew in back.

The Ruesch family, from left, include Sofia, Isabella and Heather in front, Paul and Matthew in back.

Kingsford — The Rev. Matthew Ruesch was installed as the new pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kingsford during a special 4 p.m. service Sunday. The celebration was followed by potluck meal.

Ruesch comes to Our Redeemer after serving for the past three years as a missionary in Puerto Rico on behalf of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s Office of International Mission. During his time in Puerto Rico, Ruesch was the pastor of Iglesia Lutheran Principe de Paz (Prince of Peace Lutheran Church) in Mayaguez, a city of 90,000 on the Caribbean island’s west coast. He served the needs of the local church and directed outreach efforts in the community. During the past two months, he has been involved in the national church’s disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Maria.

Ruesch is an Iron Mountain native and 1996 graduate of Kingsford High School. He attended college at Concordia University in Mequon, Wis., and completed his seminary training at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Before serving in Puerto Rico, he was at parishes in Garrison, Minn., and Bear Creek, Wis.

He now prepares to serve the congregation where he was baptized and confirmed by his grandfather, the late Rev. Paul Buenger.

“It’s a humbling privilege to be able to come home and serve a congregation that holds a special place in my heart,” Ruesch said. “Our Redeemer has been a part of who I am for my entire life. I look forward to working with them and for them in service of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.”

He returns to the Iron Mountain-Kingsford area with his wife, Heather, a Florence, Wis., native who has spent the past decade working as a crisis pregnancy director and youth speaker in both private and public schools.

The Ruesches have three children, all enrolled at Breitung Township Schools: Isabella, 17; Paul, 14; and Sofia, 10.

Ruesch added, “We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to experience a different culture, learn a new language, and confess Christ to people very different from ourselves. Now we look forward to doing something totally different: serving those who are in so many ways like us. We know what it means to be a part of this community. We know and share many of the values that people here hold dear. We believe that now is the perfect time to be God’s people in this place and to share his word of forgiveness, life, and salvation with those whom he puts before us.”

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