Wednesday, February 13, 2013

O God, You have called us...

" ventures which we cannot see the end, by path never yet taken, through perils unknown.  Give us good courage not knowing where we go, but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen."
(Martin Luther's evening prayer, affectionately referred 
to as the Holden Prayer of Good Courage in the village)

This year, February 13th  is unlike the others that have preceded it for the past twenty-two years. Generally this is a day of dread and memories for me as it marks the twenty-second year since my mother's death, she died on Ash Wednesday and of course, this year Ash Wednesday falls on February 13th yet again.

But today February 13th also marks a day of new life and new adventures – today Holden Village has extended to me a call to Word and sacrament ministry and asked that I would serve this community as associate pastor! The road from “am I really going to seminary?” to today has been thrilling and challenging, confusing and sacrificial – but today I feel the redemption and Holy Spirit pulling on me to continue on this road. I pray the road I am traveling glorifies God and honors the memory and spirit of my mom.

The call to pastoral ministry is (for now) one year. It will be Micaela's 2nd grade year and the village will transition from “normal” village living to major construction season while the Holden mine undergoes remediation. This ministry will look different than any other setting I have ever served in, as I have heard ministry described up here, “Its like offering pastoral care at a bus stop”. So, I know I have much to learn in that regard and am very thankful that a major portion of my job will remain focused on music and worship (the area I feel much more at ease with!).

All day I have been thinking of and praying for the many, many faith communities I have lived in or worked in and have struggled and laughed and grown in. That whole “it takes a village” phrase has become some clich√©, but the life of faith is not meant to be lived out alone and the call to ordained ministry is certainly not something one can do on their own. So, I thank God for...

Calvary Lutheran, Grand Forks, ND – where my mother was serving when she died, where I was confirmed, and where I worked as music director and discerned the call to ordained ministry!

Peace Lutheran, Fargo, ND – where I crossed the bridge from music performer to encountering music in the worship setting. A place that patiently watched a rookie church musician learn and grow.

Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA – worship training boot camp. Six or seven different worship services every week, the support to try new things, the push to get the job done, the grace to stand by a shaking twenty something spread her wings.

University Place Presbyterian Church, WA – big worship, big job, big fun.

Bethlehem Lutheran, Tacoma, WA – a brief stint, but pastors that were so intentional and supportive I still remain in touch with them and count them as mentors.

Mt. Zion Lutheran – Minneapolis, MN – a nice place to spend our Sunday mornings throughout the seminary years.

Luther Seminary -- St. Paul, MN -- working in the Pastor's office was a challenge and opportunity for growth, the same can be send for the phenomenal classes and community! 

Christus Rex – Grand Forks, ND – heart felt worship and wide open college students.

First United Methodist and Zion Lutheran -- The Dalles, OR -- my internship site who felt the labor pains of birthing a pastor.

What a blessed ride!

Micaela and I are still trying to get our heads and hearts around all this. Saying “YES” to Holden has meant saying “NO” to opportunities that would have brought us closer to loved ones in the midwest. This decision was not made lightly and we deeply hope that our longer stay in the mountains will draw some loved ones our way.

Ordination will happen back in Minnesota in, stay tuned!


  1. Super congrats from a former member of the praise team you helped inspire at First Presbyterian in Grand Forks. JoAnn

  2. What a thrilling call for you. It just brings me so much joy to watch your ministry unfold. Your years at Peace helped me discern my own ministry call. I will never forget the card you gave me when I left Peace telling me that I had been an example of Christian living and parenting to you. It meant more to me than you could know. Every Christmas I hang the angel ornament you gave me that says "Celebration Singers" on the back and think of all of the amazing music we made together. I hope our paths will cross again soon. Blessings Elizabeth!