Durand called to serve in Van Meter

Prince of Peace was first church he served as pastor

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Pastor Edward Durand poses in the pulpit at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Durand will be leaving the church to join another Lutheran congregation in Van Meter.

For the Rev. Edward Durand, leaving Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge is bittersweet, not only because he’ll miss his congregation, but because it was also his very first congregation as a pastor.

Durand, who has served as Prince of Peace’s pastor since the summer of 2009, has accepted a call to serve as the pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Van Meter.

Prince of Peace was the very first congregation he served, after he decided to switch careers and become a pastor.

“And so this was my first call from the seminary,” Durand said. “And it’s been good. I’ve enjoyed my time here. I’ve enjoyed it a lot.”

As it was his first time serving as a pastor anywhere, Durand said he had a lot to learn when he first got started nearly nine years ago.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Pastor Edward Durand, with Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, poses among some banners in the chapel. Durand will be leaving Prince of Peace to join a Lutheran congregation in Van Meter.

“I did a year of vicarage before I came, which is like an internship,” he said. “So I was not real polished in the pulpit or with even writing my own sermons.”

But he said the Prince of Peace congregation was very supportive of him when he was first getting started.

“Prince of Peace and the people here were very good about allowing me to grow and kind of become the preacher I am today,” he said. “It was about a four or five year process, I think, before I got really comfortable in the pulpit.”

He’s learned a lot in his time at Prince of Peace.

“Some of the other things that I’ve learned here is how to listen to the people, and try and meet their needs as best I can,” he said. “Answer their questions or whatever concerns they might have.”

Durand said something else he’s learned over the past nine years is how to manage his own time better.

“I worked for a printing company before,” he said. “Kind of this being in charge of your own time and scheduling things, to get things done orderly and propertly, did take a little time for me to learn. It’s a growing process.”

He has a lot of memories attached to the church.

“There’s been a lot of things that we have tried and done over the years,” he said. “Everything from vacation Bible school to an Easter egg hunt one year from the community, especially the neighborhood around us.”

He’s also overseen physical improvements to the church as well.

“We’ve replaced the roof here at the church and also on the main building and also on the sanctuary,” he said. “And then we did have an elevator we had to get rebuilt. It just wore out and needed to be replaced.”

At times, the repair work could cause stress within the church, but the congregation overcame it together.

“These were kind of trying times, but we worked together,” he said. “We leaned on the Lord. We sought His guidance and we’ve kind of come through all these things.”

Durand said he’s going to miss the members of the congregation as well as the community he’s called home for the past nine years.

Something else he’ll miss is the unique appearance of the Prince of Peace sanctuary.

“The sanctuary here is a round sanctuary,” he said. “We worship in the round and it’s pretty unique. And I will miss that uniqueness of the sanctuary and preaching there.”

Also in the sanctuary are banners from each confirmation class that has come through Prince of Peace. Durand said he can see all the banners as he’s in the pulpit.

He’ll miss seeing the banners as well, especially all the classes that have graduated since he’s been pastor.

At the same time, he’s looking forward to joining his new congregation in Van Meter.

“I think the new challenge of the whole kind of adventure, getting to know a new group of people, learning to be their pastor, shepherding them through this time,” he said.

It’s also a bit of a homecoming for him. Durand is originally from Des Moines, which isn’t far from Van Meter. Several members of his family still live in Des Moines, including his parents, two of his four brothers and his sister-in-law and her family.

His new congregation is a rural one, located about four miles outside of Van Meter.

“But everything’s moving that way,” Durand said. “West Des Moines is 15 minutes away. There’s some new housing in the area. I don’t know how long we’ll be in the country — you just don’t know with the way things move in the Des Moines area.”

Durand’s farewell sermon will be 9 a.m. Sunday at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1023 S. 27th St.

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