Meet Our New Pastor, Daniel Lukas
Welcome! First off, should we call you “Daniel” or “Dan”?
Daniel. I used to go by “Danny” through high school. When I graduated, I thought it was too childish and asked others to simply call me “Dan”. Yet, a few years ago I started studying with a rabbi. He shared that during scripture, names were more than just what someone calls you.
I took that to heart because “Dan” means “judge”, and I didn’t think that matched my personality. However, “Daniel” means “God is judge” and that is more fitting.
Could you give us a little background on your life experience growing up?
When I started college in Hawaii, I purchased a surfboard within the first 24 hours. Then, I decided to take it to the North Shore because that is where the BIG waves are. Without any practice or learning, I attempted to surf with the more talented surfers. Instantly, I landed hard on the beach looking like a cartoon character with water pouring out of my ears.
That is the only time I surfed, and I ventured more into body boarding after that. I have reflected on that experience to guide me in learning new skills from others through actual practice and learning.
Can you tell us a little about your past roles in churches?
I have had various roles, from a youth pastor to the leader of worship.
One of the most encompassing titles I have had was creative director. There I was responsible for overseeing worship and communications.
What is your favorite restaurant?
My new favorite restaurant is Red Cow, in Edina. I enjoyed the P-B-J burger with a raspberry sour ale.
A close second is Keys Cafe. I have ordered the same “everything omelet” since my grandparents first took me there when I was five years old.
What is your favorite food?
Breakfast foods, omelets
What is your favorite coffee shop?
Regretfully, I’m a “recovering” coffee snob. My favorite is the Dogwood Coffee Bar. I particularly enjoy the one in St. Paul.
What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, writing, walking, and making electronic ambient music. NOT TECHNO.
What are your favorite things to do with your kids?
When they were younger it was cooking and eating. As they grow up into their teenage years, Uno has become a family favorite game. They really enjoy when I play Taxi and ATM for them.
Also movies, we love movies. If there is a good one coming out, we are waiting there opening night.
If you were an animal which would you be and why?
I’d be a brown bear. They can be cuddly and nice or RWAR. I see myself as protective of the people that surround me. I see bears as loyal, a trait I value about myself. The bear also connects to my Enneagram type, which is an eight.
If you had to live in any other country which would it be and why?
Israel. I loved the food and the people. It was one of the most significant experiences in my life. It definitely changed my life.
What makes you laugh the most?
When I do stupid things. I can laugh at myself and also find it extremely hilarious.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a professional baseball player (catcher) for the Twins or Phillies.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Richard Rohr, Rob Bell, Gregory of Nyssa, NT Wright, and T.S. Elliot.
What are you most excited about as the new pastor at Mercy Commons?
I see a lot of potential and vitality in the community that exists in this church. I’m excited about the opportunity to serve and grow with Mercy Commons during this new season.