Letter from Sarah Kretschmann – member of Midvale Community Lutheran Church in post-graduate studies at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN (one of seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).
Dear Midvale Community,
Like the waves of water that wash over us in baptismal ritual, so too has my time at seminary so far been an ebbing and flowing journey. This past year, I have been led through peaceful inlets of comfortable and grounding relationship with family and friends carried by their love. At other times I have traveled through the roiling rapids of new and unfamiliar classroom settings and work environments.
These currents have recently led me from ordination toward diaconal ministry. Diaconal ministers serve through agencies, institutions, and traditional church programs; places where the Holy Spirit is at work within and outside of the church. I have always felt a strong call to work for justice in the world grounded in my belief in a savior committed to radical re-visioning of the world. Through rostered leadership in Word and Service, I make a commitment to proclaim the Gospel and to live into a vocation of grace-filled servant leadership in the world.
This past summer, I spent my time doing chaplaincy work at United Hospital in St. Paul. I This was an amazing opportunity for learning and growing as I worked in the Cardiac ICU and Geriatric Mental Health Units. I was stretched and challenged and definitely overwhelmed at times. Much to my surprise, in the last month of the program I started feeling a definite nudge toward chaplaincy work in the future. Not what I expected at all, but we’ll see where the Spirit leads in the coming season!
The Luther Seminary Community Garden I was coordinating had great success this year. Kale, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, onions and more flourished up until mid-fall for the community to harvest. I was even able to help coordinate Cup of Blessing: Harvest Dinner Church with my seminary community. Each Monday evening, the Luther Seminary community gathers for dinner fellowship and communion shared together in worship. We crafted the liturgy around harvest and supplemented the weekly meal with some of the abundance of our community garden. It was a beautiful time to reflect upon the incredible provision of the land.
Looking on towards advent and the coming year, I reflect with gratitude for your support. I am continually learning and growing through this seminary experience and I am so very thankful for the opportunity. May your Christmas season be filled with light and love as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.