Originally posted Oct. 12, 2012, at Taste and See. Republished with permission of the author.
Hello, all! My name is Janelle and starting today(!) I’ll be joining the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago blogging crew. To get us rollin’, let me fill you in on a few tidbits of my story.
I’m a first-year (junior) student in the Master of Divinity program. While downtown Chicago is at my fingertips now, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be living here for any reason, much less to attend seminary!
Born and raised in the metro-D.C. suburbs of Maryland, I am the only girl and the youngest of the four Neubauer children. My brothers and I, we’re pastors’ kids. Like my grandfather before, both my mom and dad attended Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, serving as pastors in the Lutheran church. Needless to say, we made for a fine bunch of acolytes when our parents were in a pinch.
While the church was like our second home, each of us children was on a life trajectory far different from our parents, or so it seemed. We were all taken aback when one of my brothers (who studied geology and environmental science) discerned a call to ordained ministry. Like our parents and grandfather, he too graduated from the Gettysburg seminary.
I’ll spare you the details of my call story and discernment process (I’m positive chunks of it will appear in future posts!) but it turns out that 10 years after my brother, it was my turn to share my thoughts with the family, and here I am.
Yes, here I am. I find myself at peace in this place, gently walking (well, sometimes rigorously trotting) alongside classmates as we begin our journeys toward ordination. Still, I wrestle every day with questions. I feel so called to this ministry, but where exactly am I going from here, O Lord? I guess I didn’t catch on from before when I had no clue that Chicago was in my future.
For now, I am trying to focus on the astounding things I am learning on a daily basis about my church, my faith, my community and myself: My church cares about being an intentional and inclusive place of worship; my faith calmly rests in the tension between thanksgiving and beseeching; my community is committed to engaging in faithful dialogue surrounding many modern-day issues. Some really amazing stuff is going on around here.
And what have I learned about myself? Well, a lot! But to prove seminary isn’t only about deep personal thoughts and realizations, I’ve learned that (according to classmates from Texas, the Carolinas, and even Illinois) …
… I say “egg” funny. Who knew!
Find a link to Janelle Neubauer’s entry on the blog Taste and See at Lutheran Blogs.