As part of my process to become an ordained minister in the ELCA, in 2016 I was required to write an essay focusing on my hopes and dreams for the church, where I see God at work in the world, and what I believe about our incredible God. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing excerpts of this essay, as our Learning Lutheran educational series continues and we as a congregation dive into our faith, I invite you to dive into my faith with me.
- What community of faith prior to your seminary studies helped shape your understanding of God’s mission and your gifts for missional leadership? Identify missional leadership gifts that were developed and strengthened by your experiences in this formative faith community and provide a few examples.
When I was 14 years old, I sat in the pastor’s office at Creator Lutheran Church, looked my pastor in the eye, and declared my devout atheism. I then asked to be confirmed, because the laptop my grandmother purchased for me was waiting. The pastor did not scold me, he thanked me for my honesty, he offered that if I ever wanted to talk he was available, and he said that someday I might be glad that I was confirmed.
Eight years later, at 22 years old, faith had found me, and called me back to the church. I found myself kneeling at the altar at Creator Lutheran Church, that same pastor leaned down and asked, “Is this Megan? This is the body of Christ, given for you.”
Two years later I found myself at the pulpit, preaching my first sermon. Sharing the love and grace that Creator Lutheran, the pastor, and the members there had been sharing with me throughout my lifetime. If God’s hope and dream for the world is that of relationship, of love and forgiveness, this church taught me what it means to reach out and be available, to all, especially to those who are leaving or on the outside of the church building.
These are just two of the most pinnacle moments of my faith, my experience of God’s hope for me and for our world, but this is the greatest gift I can ask for as a leader – to be able to truly reach for relationship with others, and to share this love and care with those in and out of the church. Creator Lutheran taught me what it means to proclaim the Gospel through both words and actions, to share the grace that has been so mercifully given to me by God through the love and care of others.