Two New Resident Pastors Called
St. Paul members will consider calling two new resident pastors at a congregational meeting on Sunday, March 22, 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. The candidates, who would come to serve St. Paul from August 2015-July 2017, are Amy Diller (right) and Liesebet Gravley (left).
Current resident pastors, Chad McKenna and Amanda Weinkauf, will leave St. Paul in July.
The St. Paul Pastoral Residency Program, funded in part by the Lilly Endowment, is designed to strengthen the transition from seminary classroom to congregational ministry. Participants grow a foundation of healthy pastoral practices and habits – crucial to success and longevity in ministry.
Amy grew up in Tampa, Florida, moving to Mississippi at the age of 16. She is a graduate of the Mississippi University of Women with a major in culinary arts. Amy has extensive experience in the food service industry. She is a student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
“I can’t shake my love for food, and this has turned out to be a very good thing for church life. I know that food builds and deepens relationships. Mealtime is a chance to connect with God’s creation, build relationships, and be renewed. Food sharing is part of Christian community – God comes to us through Communion.”
Amy completed her internship at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Hot Springs, Arkansas. “She won the hearts of the congregation,” her supervisor said. She has also worked at a large trauma hospital on the north side of Chicago, where she learned that being present in a crisis meant being present to the patients, their families, and their friends.
“I am passionate about presenting the Gospel in ways that are touching and relatable. The Gospel is sent to touch us and transform our hearts,” she said.
A native of Oklahoma, Liesebet graduated from Wittenberg University with a bachelor’s degree in German and physics. She also earned a master’s in science from the Air Force Institute of Technology, where her research was in upper atmospheric physics. She worked as a teacher in Slovakia with the ELCA from 2006-2008, and as a lab technician for Conoco Phillips from 2008-2011, when she started studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, or LSTC.
“I feel happiest when I’m connected to church,” said Liesebet, who served as coordinator at the Zygon Center for Religion and Science at LSTC. Liesebet enjoys the interface between science and theology and likes to “sit in the mystery.”
Liesebet’s internship was at a two-church congregation outside of Fargo, North Dakota. She also spent time working at an inner-city trauma hospital in Chicago, where she was mentored by a nun who modeled bravery, strength, tenderness, and a non-anxious presence.
She loves to sing.
“I feel that it is important to learn about other cultures within our own country and across the world. It helps me feel connected to others and has helped me learn to appreciate who I am and where I come from,” she said.