A Des Moines, Iowa native, the Rev. Dr. Annika Lister Stroope was called to the Federated Church of Columbus, Nebraska as Senior Pastor in 2012. In 2014, Federated Church celebrated its centennial as a congregation of both the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ (originally a Congregational Church in 1914). She is delighted to serve in this ecumenical context and to journey with Federated into its second century.
Annika’s journey to ministry was guided by her home church in Des Moines, which focused on social justice and neighborhood outreach. Annika took a semester-long leave from college to serve as liaison to Des Moines Presbytery’s sister church in Berlín, Usulután, El Salvador. That experience led to her positions as a Spanish-English family worker with AmeriCorps*VISTA in the Des Moines Public Schools, and later as an interpreter for the Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency. In each of these contexts, Annika worked closely with immigrant families to eliminate barriers to education, health care, and child welfare.
Annika received her B.A. with a double major in history and religion from Swarthmore College. She completed her Master of Divinity degree at McCormick Theological Seminary and received a second-place Taylor Preaching Prize and the McKay Theology Prize.
Her first ordained call was as a chaplain at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN during the 2001-02 school year, followed by a call to focus on visitors, new members, and emerging technology as Associate Pastor for Evangelism and Fellowship at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, MN from 2002 to 2012. Her doctoral studies were through the Association of Chicago Theological Schools’ D.Min. in Preaching program. Upon completing her D.Min. in 2013, McCormick Seminary awarded her the Hunt Prize for Outstanding Thesis, which was titled Preaching for the Nurture of Globally-Minded Christians.
Annika’s preaching and teaching at Federated Church blend close attention to scripture with a commitment to reflecting on the tough questions and issues of our day. Annika thrives working across generations and to help folks of all ages discern their unique calls to serve God through Federated Church. Federated has maintained a strong commitment to an open communion table, welcoming all people, and connecting faith and daily life. Annika brings her bicultural experience and world religions studies, tying together wisdom of many perspectives, to conversations and discernment with members and friends of the congregation. Check out Federated’s Sunday worship services by visiting http://federatedcolumbus.org/media/videos/
In her outreach to the greater community, Annika serves on the boards of two Columbus organization founded by Federated Church members: The Center for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors, and the non-profit Prairie Village Retirement Community (she is also a board member of Prairie Village’s parent organization, the Nebraska Presbyterian Foundation). She has taught preaching and polity courses in Nebraska’s Education in Lay Ministry (ELM) program of Cotner College, a collaboration between the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Homestead & Central Nebraska Presbyterys, and the Nebraska Conference of the UCC. She is currently Homestead Presbytery’s minister commissioner to the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, serving on the Synod’s Personnel Committee and Committee on Racial Ethnic Ministries.
Annika and her family are a licensed foster family. They have welcomed children ages 10 months to 17 years in their home, some for a few days and on up to a year.
Her favorite hobby is traveling; most recently she visited Israel and Palestine with the Presbyterian Church Peacemaking Program’s Mosaic of Peace Conference. She and her family enjoy the great outdoors. She is an avid, but not fast-moving, triathlete. She doesn’t get into the dog or cat debate, because for her, guinea pigs can’t be beat (and in spite of having a guinea pig, her daughter still wants a dog and a cat).