Eric D. Hullstrom, Senior Pastor

My Twitter bio says: I am follower of Jesus Christ just trying to keep his ducks in a   row. I'm also a husband, a father of two children, a feisty pastor, runner and coffee snob.  And that says a lot, but what else?

I was born and raised in Minnesota. My wife and I grew up together but that was the extent of our relationship until I moved back home in 1997 to work at my dad’s car dealership. About 2 ½ years later, I discovered my gifts were not in sales but rather in full-time ministry.

So in May 2000 I moved to Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN to attend Luther Seminary. During my time there I spent a year in Mount Vernon, WA for my internship and it was there that I proposed to my wife, Connie. In 2004, I graduated from Luther Seminary, St Paul, MN, and began serving at Salem Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Jackson, MN. A month later, I was ordained and married (all the same weekend). I never thought I would spend 12 years in my first call, but God is in control and praise be to God for that.

During our time in Jackson, my wonderful wife and I adopted two beautiful children; Mayah (2013) and Malachi (2014). What a blessing they are to us and many others. In August 2015 I became certified in the LCMC and in Jan 2016 I accepted the call to serve here, as Senior Pastor of Living Word Lutheran Church.  We are excited to be serving here in the Pacific Northwest and seeing how God is going to bring glory to His holy name through us.


Lydia Auge, Office Manager

Lydia was born in Hawaii and grew up in various places, from Germany to Texas to Hawaii, because her father was career Army.  After graduating from high school in El Paso, Texas, she joined the Navy as a Yeoman (secretarial/clerical).

Her experiences range from her initial assignment in Washington, D. C.—Headquarters for the Navy and the Pentagon—to assignments in Hawaii.  In Orlando, Florida, she met her husband Al, also in the Navy; they became the first husband and wife team to push recruits through training.  Her final duty station was the Navy ROTC in Ames, Iowa as the Admin. Officer, and she retired there after 22 years of service.

After their son graduated from high school and decided to go to college in Ames, Lydia decided she wanted to be a driver for their long-haul trucking business.  The company to which they were leased needed team drivers in the upper Northwest.  They moved to Washington, and after four years, it was time to sell trucks, downsize employees, and really retire.  Lydia volunteered her services at Living Word in the fall of 2009, and in January 2010 was hired as the Office Manager, which she feels is God's purpose and plan for her.

Mary Kaye Owen, Accompanist

Mary Kaye Owen has served as piano accompanist in churches since she was in junior high, playing at the church her father pastored in North Bonneville, Washington.  She earned a Bachelor of Sacred Music Degree from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon.

Moving around the country while doing office work in the heavy construction industry, Mary Kaye was able to play piano for congregations in Ketchikan, Alaska, as well as several congregations in the Atlanta, Georgia area, before moving back to the Pacific Northwest and settling in Renton, Washington.

She was one of several pianists at Highlands Community Church in Renton, and was also active in the ministry there to single adults.  While at a joint church singles retreat with Kent Nazarene at Snoqualmie Pass, she met her husband, Dan, a Boeing computer programmer.

After marrying, Mary Kaye was able to earn a Master's Degree in Music Education from the University of Washington.  She has taught piano at the Red Door Music Studio in Renton since 1987, and is both a State and Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM).

Mary Kaye and Dan have two teenage sons, Thommy and Titus, who continue to attend church in Renton.  Mary Kaye applied for the Living Word Lutheran Church accompanist position after reading about it in a general email sent to music teacher colleagues by LWLC's former accompanist.  She is so grateful that God has led her and Dan to Living Word Lutheran Church, one of the warmest groups of believers she’s ever known!

Dan Owen, Choir Director

Dan was born in Pendleton, Oregon to music-loving parents and grew up on a nearby ranch.

He was in band (brass instruments) and choir in school and also learned guitar and piano. He enjoys science and math and graduated from Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho with a degree in physics.

While at NNC he joined College Choir and also the choir at nearby Zion Lutheran Church, his first experience in a church choir.

He works for Boeing where he is a software developer supporting engineering.  He met Mary Kaye at a church singles retreat in Easton, WA. He and Mary Kaye live in Renton and have two sons, Thomas and Titus.