I first experienced a pull towards ministry at a Good Friday service at my home congregation during my junior year of high school. As a new church-goer, I was very interested in developing my faith and serving God, and I felt that ministry would provide me the opportunity to use many of my unrelated gifts all within one vocation. I went straight to college and then attended Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, where I wanted to pursue a career as an Associate in Ministry. When I described my compassionate nature and my zeal for helping people in need, a pastor at the seminary told me to research diaconal ministry, as it seemed that my interests would match that roster perfectly. He was correct. As I read about diaconal ministry, I felt that I had finally "come home." Here was a vocation that matched my gifts and interests - what a reassuring feeling, to know that there were others out there "like me!" I pursued a diaconal track and finished my two-year Master of Arts in Religion degree in May of 2003.
It gives me the freedom to meet needs within the community using the gifts that God has given to people within the congregation.
My diaconal specialization is education, which I use when teaching about social justice issues particularly, but also in my work with youth. I thoroughly enjoy working within the life of a wonderful congregation, as it allows me to have a very wide variety of experiences (from worship leadership to starting a hot meal program to leading youth mission trips!) and gives me the freedom to meet needs within the community using the gifts that God has given to people within the congregation.
I will be moving in August of 2005 to Okinawa, Japan (my husband is a US Marine), and I am looking forward to seeing how God will provide me with ministry opportunities in that overseas military community.