Pastor’s Reflection

Thank you for the warm and wonderful welcome I have received from Christ Lutheran already! The
generosity of spirit and hospitality that you embody is noticeable immediately upon each and every worship
service and meeting that I’ve already been privileged to share in with you.
By way of a brief introduction, I have come to you as your Resident Pastoral Intern through collaboration in
ministry with several ELCA activities around the metro area of St. Louis in the past several years. The
primary point of intersection has been through the work of The Bridge in New Town, since it is a joint ELCARCA
ministry. In case that raises more questions than it achieves in providing answers, let me explain. I am
a rostered Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America (RCA), one of the partners
with the ELCA through the Formula of Agreement, signed and celebrated in 1997 (http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/A_Formula_Of_Agreement.pdf). 
 
I have served as a pastor of Christ’s Church in St. Peters, MO since 1989, having moved here from
Michigan with my husband and three sons to co-plant that church. I am still finishing up a few
responsibilities there until August, when my husband will be retired from full-time pastoral service. So yes,
you guessed it – I, too, am part of a clergy couple, just as Pastors Keith and Penny were as they served in
this church for several years. I have enjoyed a rich and diverse ministry, thanks to our partnership with the
ELCA in large measure. Another aspect of the ministry I have enjoyed was to serve on the staff of the
Reformed Church in America as the Coordinator of Adult Discipleship from 2012-13, before I returned to
work once again at Christ’s Church and with The Bridge. Additionally, my husband and I both served as
volunteer and then part-time on-call chaplains at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital for many years. During
our initial years there, we were pleased to work under the supervision of Jim Bennett.
 
I did not go to high school in St. Louis, because I was raised in northwest Iowa, in the small town of Hull. I
graduated from Northwestern College, a private, liberal arts college in Orange City, Iowa, then received a
Master of Religious Education degree at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI, after which I served
as a campus minister first at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and then at Hope College in Holland, MI.
It was during that time that I realized I was being called to work on the Master of Divinity degree which I
completed and then was subsequently ordained in the RCA. While working with The Bridge, I was also asked
to become a Mission Developer for the ELCA, when my colleague Terry Moore left the Metro Coalition to
accept a position in Springfield, Illinois. So I have been actively engaged in both RCA and ELCA assemblies
and ministries for the past 10 years.
 
My husband Phil and I have three sons and three daughters-in-law, with one grandson: Andrew, Nicole and
Jack live in Columbia, IL, Stephen and Pam live in Glendale, and Tim and Chris live in the South Hampton
neighborhood of STL. We love St. Louis and seek to live out the call issued in Jeremiah 29:7 to “seek the
welfare of the city where I have sent you.”
 
I am looking forward to the adventure and challenge of being in ministry with you in this coming year!
 
– Pastor Stephanie