Our Resident Ministers
First Pres welcomed our tenth cohort of Resident Ministers in August of 2021. Rev. Megan Berry, Rev. Hannah Lundberg and Rev. Matthew J. Warfield arrived full of energy, vision and passion for ministry and leadership here in Ann Arbor and immediately began an intentional process of on-boarding here into the life of First Pres.
Rev. Megan Berry
Megan graduated in May 2021 from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She spent her undergraduate years at Drury University in Springfield, Mo., where she earned a BA degree in Music with a Psychology minor in December 2017 and served an internship in a local church to explore Christian ministry. A flutist, Megan envisioned a career as a musician or music educator before discerning a call to serve as a pastor for small congregations.
Megan comes from Independence, Mo., and has worked in an administrative position in her home parish and as a seminarian at an urban church in Kansas City. Megan was ordained this past fall 2021 in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in her home presbytery, Heartland Presbytery in Kansas.
At seminary, her special interests included Christian Education and youth ministries, and she completed all requirements for Louisville’s concentration in Christian Education. Megan has shared two experiences that formed her call to ministry. First, she was shaped by working with children and youth as a counselor in her local Presbyterian camp ministry. Second, she credits worshiping in a PCUSA congregation with a female pastor and many female elders for opening the windows and doors that have led her towards parish ministry. In her application for our program, Megan wrote: “I want to start working full time in a parish setting where I will be surrounded by those who want to encourage me in ministry as well as give me constructive guidance. I think this program will be helpful for my goals because of its learning structure, focus on growing a pastoral identity, and deepening my current strengths for ministry.” One of her seminary professors offered: “She is the kind of pastor who could be my pastor – and I don’t say that very often.”
Rev. Hannah Lundberg
Hannah received her Master of Divinity degree in May from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She grew up in southern California, but moved to the Midwest to attend Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, graduating with a degree in English and global development studies in 2018. Her time at Grinnell helped her reframe her faith, connect with several nourishing interfaith groups, develop healthy mentoring relationships with the campus chaplain and rabbi, and settle into an active life in the faith community of the First Presbyterian Church of Grinnell. There she found the space and scope to ask the hard questions of faith that led her to a call to ministry.
In the dynamic interfaith setting of Union Seminary and the Upper West Side of New York, Hannah found that her work as coordinator for the seminary’s daily chapel services added depth to her sense of pastoral vocation, as did her fieldwork at the nearby Broadway Presbyterian Church. Hannah hopes that her Residency experience “will help me hone and develop my pastoral voice as a Presbyterian.” She would like to work with college students and young adults and engage in all the ways that our church ministers to the university community in Ann Arbor. First Pres, she believes, will introduce her to a “wide range of ministry contexts” and prepare her for effective ministry. “I’m always surprised and delighted by the new ways I learn about God from the people and communities I meet; I know that will be true in Ann Arbor as well.” Hannah was ordained this past fall 2021 in the PCUSA in her home Presbytery in Iowa. According to her seminary chaplain, in her writing, preaching, speaking and learning about Christianity, her spirituality is almost palpable: “I’ve gone back to some of her sermons at Chapel and asked for the texts because they’re so rich and spiritual.”
Reverend Matthew J. Warfield
In Memoriam May 24, 1989 - January 8, 2022
Matthew J had roots in western Michigan and grew up in Holland. He is a boyhood friend and seminary classmate of Rev. Mark Mares, our Minister for Youth and Families.
Matthew J was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church of America (RCA) on June 27, 2021 at Maple Avenue Ministries in Holland. As a minister in the RCA, Matthew J could serve a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation under a Formula of Agreement which recognizes equality of ordination status among several denominations, including the PCUSA and the RCA. Matthew J earned a BS in Psychology from Grand Valley State College before completing his Master of Divinity degree at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, in 2017.
Prior to beginning the Residency program at First Pres, Matthew J served as associate pastor (part-time) at Embody Christ Fellowship (RCA) in Holland and had a long history of working with young people in his community. He also worked as a manager in the automotive business in western Michigan before his move to Ann Arbor in August 2021.
Growing up, Matthew J was an avid basketball player and an ardent Los Angeles Lakers fan. He also loved reading and creative writing as a child. He first read Langston Hughes in elementary school and began writing poetry then. When he was twelve he was given the opportunity to preach at his home church, Maple Avenue Ministries in Holland. This was a formative experience—from that moment he had a growing sense that his life’s work would be to proclaim the gospel and stand for justice on behalf of the “least of these” in our society.
Matthew J had a warm pastoral presence that engaged everyone he encountered. In his application for the Residency program Matthew J wrote: “I believe that becoming a Resident at First Pres will prepare and mature me like no other program. First Pres’ commitment and work toward abolishing systemic racism, white privilege, and gaining lasting justice and equality make a perfect fit for my God-given call.”
Matthew J's obituary can be found here: http://langelandsterenberg.
A recording of Matthew J's Memorial Service can be found here: https://vimeo.com/665736841?fbclid=IwAR3SlOtNIktkSU-PZkxFCPMLxHTfLAcNssKpOHZ8LW1KJHDB4obMnGhL6VQ
Cards to the family can be mailed to:
1224 Cranberry Court
Holland, MI 49423