Pastor David Vásquez, one of the campus pastors at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, will be the next speaker in the Walter Wangerin Jr. Celebration of Preaching series at the Chapel. He will be at Valpo on MLK Sunday, Jan. 20th, preaching at the 10 a.m. service. The preaching series, which began Sept. 9, is intended to bring notable clergy to Valpo's Chapel. There is also an opportunity to meet and have lunch and conversation with David Vásquez after worship. Students, faculty, staff and guests are invited to purchase a lunch at the Union cafeteria and meet in the Union Hearth Room.
David loves to serve with those who are “on the move” -- college students at a time when they’re exploring God’s calling for their lives (asking not only what they will do, but who they will be as children of God) as well as those who live with greater awareness of the reality of human mobility (like recent immigrants, particularly the undocumented).
Following the devastating May 12, 2008 immigration raid in Postville, Iowa, David served as part of the Postville Relief Effort core team, working in areas of coordination, advocacy and legal support. Originally from Guatemala, David has served in places as diverse as rural Indiana, working for refugee resettlement in Canada, and an international community in southern Germany. He has spoken at various regional and national events around issues of immigration as well as youth and young adult culture, and focuses his research work on immigration as a central image in sacred texts.
David is the author of Out of the Waters: Resisting the Power of Fear a Bible study on the book of Exodus published by the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, 1 and 2 Samuel from the Books of Faith Bible Study Series by Augsburg Fortress Publishers, and co-author with Diane Jacobson of Ruth, published under the same series. He has also served as consultant on two documentaries related to the Postville raid, “abUSed: The Postville Raid” by Luis Argueta and Vivian Rivas and "Guatemala: A Tale of Two Villages," by Greg Brosnan and Jennifer Szymaszek.
He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Texas Lutheran University and a master's degree in divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He received his Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching (D. Min) through the Association of Chicago Theological Schools.
David is married to Dr. Karla Suomala, who teaches in the Religion Department at Luther College. They have two children, Dawit and Meheret.
The final speaker in the Wangerin preaching series will be the Rev. Dr. David R. Schmitt, Benidt Chair in Homiletics and Literature, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, on April 7. The series is sponsored by the Chapel, the Center for Church Relations, and the Institute for Liturgical Studies.