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Pastor Dana Runestad

Call the church office at 734-971-1417 or email me at

Pastor Dana Runestad is walking with us through a time of exploration and discovery as we re-group and discern a new vision to guide us into God’s future. Pastor Dana has been a pastor in the Southeast Michigan Synod of the ELCA since 1986, where she has served congregations in Ida, Livonia, Ann Arbor, Plymouth, Garden City, Dearborn Heights, Fenton, and Detroit. She sees her role as pastor to be that of a “curator of community” and counts it a privilege to be walking with the wonderful people of King of Kings during this challenging and exciting time to be the church.

Most recently, Pastor Dana completed the Post-Graduate Program in Bowen Family Systems Theory at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. She subsequently participated in their monthly Faith Leaders Seminars for four years. That training has given her a lens through which to better understand human functioning (especially her own!). She uses this training in all aspects of her life and work, and especially as a facilitator and presenter for Healthy Congregations Leadership Series. She is a leader on the Healthy Congregations Board of Directors. She also teaches a course in Natural Systems and Congregational Leadership for our synod’s Licensed Lay Ministers in training.

Pastor Dana (Dana rhymes with banana) comes to us from Plymouth, Michigan, where she lives with her spouse Barry Rabe (UM Professor of Public Policy) and son Andrew Rabe, a policy analyst for a Washington, D.C., healthcare firm. Their son Matthew lives in Chicago and works for the GAO as a senior policy analyst.

In her spare time, Dana enjoys hiking, walking to movies at downtown Plymouth’s Penn Theater, reading books with her book club of over twenty years, baking gluten free desserts, resale shopping, and all the New York Times word puzzles (especially Wordle – she trades scores daily with her son in Chicago). At the end of the day, she joins her husband in watching selectively streamed television. Favorites include Ted Lasso, Borgen, Joe Pera Talks With You, and much on PBS (All Creatures Great and Small, Grantchester, Nature, American Experience, and more.)

She is a youngest daughter with three older brothers, one in her hometown of Rockford, IL, one in Coon Rapids, MN, and one deceased. Her father, Luverne Runestad, was a Lutheran pastor and her mother, Barbara, a Registered Nurse. She graduated from Carthage College (BA), Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Music) and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (Master of Divinity).