Employee Spotlights

Friendship matters: two campus pastors’ story at Presbyterian Homes & Services

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Lane and Rob in high school yearbookToday we share a tale of two friends in our Better Together series.

Pastors Rob Johnson and Lane Skoglund-Anderson share their heartwarming and inspiring story of reconnecting and supporting each other as colleagues at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS).

Rob is campus pastor at Waverly Gardens in North Oaks, MN, and Lane is campus pastor at Mainstreet Village in Richfield, MN.

They first met as teenage boys at North Branch High School in Minnesota. That’s where they remember performing together in high school plays, including The Wizard of Oz. Lane played The Cowardly Lion and Rob played The Wizard.

Exploring talents in the arts, sharing jokes between classes and growing up in the Christian faith combined to form their first fond memories of being better together.

Lane and Rob in high school play

After high school, college dreams and career aspirations would lead each along a different path across the Midwest.

But it wasn’t long before their paths would cross again … and again … whether at Bethel Seminary as pastors-in-training or as church planters in Wisconsin, later returning to Minnesota.

Fast forward still years later. Lane became a campus pastor with Avinity. Then, in 2019, Avinity and PHS entered a joint venture as faith-based, non-profit providers of senior housing and services based in the Twin Cities.

As a result, Lane became integrated with the PHS spiritual care team as a PHS employee.

Prior to that first team meeting including Avinity campus pastors, Lane explains, “I’m thinking in the back of my mind, Boy, Rob would make a great chaplain! I’ve got to find out where Rob is! Because by then I had lost contact [again] with Rob or where he moved to next.”

So I sit down at the meeting,” Lane continues, “and guess who comes to sit right at the table next to me? Rob. He became a campus pastor too!

Watch ‘A conversation with Pastor Rob and Pastor Lane’:


Now the two friends and colleagues meet up regularly for coffee or by phone. Rob reflects with gratitude: “Sometimes life gets kinda crazy as a pastor, and you’re looking for someone to call for a prayer request. And I just know Lane is a very safe person. I can just pour out my heart and concerns, and he’ll be right there and be praying.”

Lane feels the same, saying to Rob, “That’s why I depend on you right now, because don’t get me wrong, I love every minute of what I do, but there are times when you’re weary.”

Rob reflects, for example, on the challenge of offering spiritual care while donning PPE at Interlude of Fridley, once a COVID-dedicated site.

“We wore all this garb,” Rob said, cracking a smile. “We had masks and goggles and gown and gloves and hairnets. And so, it was like, ‘Hi there! So, tell me about your life. What are you struggling with?’ as I’m wearing this disguise.”

Lane adds, “Very frequently during COVID, I’d be crying, just seeing how people were affected and isolated and declining.”

“It’s really tough on the staff,” Rob comments. “Yet we know God’s there and he’s bringing us through it.”

Rob encourages others to seek out friendship among coworkers, especially in this trying season:

We [all] need some live, rich relationships. It’s a challenge, but really worth reaching out. [The friendship] could really flourish and become something very exhilarating personally and really strengthen our work life.

Do you know someone looking for more purpose in their work? Share the good news and the many opportunities to join our team at www.preshomes.org/careers.

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