Borrego Sun - Since 1949

St. Barnabas Welcomes New Pastor


Last updated 5/24/2023 at 12:22pm

Father David and Naomi Madsen

On May 1, 2023, the parish of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church welcomes Father David and Naomi Madsen to their community. He will be the new rector/pastor.

Dave Madsen was born and raised in Colorado, and his wife Naomi grew up in Michigan. After their marriage, 50 years ago in August of 1972, they lived in Missouri, Michigan, Oregon, New York City and Philadelphia. Before entering seminary, Dave, who is the son of a minister, had a background in sales of industrial packaging. paper, plastics and chemicals. Naomi founded a refugee resettlement agency in Grand Rapids, MI. Since then she has served in varying capacities with refugee, immigration and social justice mission ministries for the United Methodist Church. They have two grown sons, Nathan and Joshua. Most recently, Dave served for over 10 years as rector of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in El Cajon. He still serves as senior pastor for Welcome Ministry of El Cajon/East County, an ecumenical nonprofit which serves immigrants, refugees and people living on the street in the East County area of San Diego County.

Dave follows Laura Brecht who was a remarkable pastor at St. Barnabas for almost 13 years. Interim pastoral care of the parish has been provided by retired priest members George Keith and Michael Plekon, who will continue to assist Fr. David. He and Naomi come with a brilliant record of faith leadership and commitment of service to the community in El Cajon, New York City, Philadelphia, among other locations. They will be welcome ministers to the greater community of Borrego.

Here is what Dave wrote in his D.Min. dissertation:

"A congregation is a combined mechanism of individuals that have found meaning and purpose in culturally enforced paradigms of accrued behavior patterns developed over a period. It takes considerable time, much wisdom, prayer, contemplative criticism, and empathic understanding to begin and to continue to work in a congregation of individuals that are built together on norms and patterns of behavior that are developed over long periods of time. In the midst of all the voices, there is always the presence of the other voice. My prayer and hope is that I will attempt to bring this other voice into the mix of voices.

"The voices that ask for attention include the voice of congregational sustainability, the voice for financial stability, the voice for creative alternatives to the way we do church, and many other voices that clamor for equal time, yet there is one voice that I shall refer to as 'the other' that will always bring me back to the 'now' the present moment, that continues the reality of the sacred trust of individuals and the group that is the makeup of these individuals.

"What is this voice? It is the voice of the other, the voice of reality. It is the voice of the God of unknowing, the voice that reminds me that I do not or will not have all the answers. It is the voice of humility. The voice that says 'Be still and know that I am God.'" Survivor Parish – Reality Programming for a Shrinking Church. New York Theological Seminary. 2012, 101-102.

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