Rev. Rachel Anderson
- Ambler, PA
St. John's Lutheran Church in Ambler, PA
What brings you joy in your ministry?
I find joy in working with people, getting to know them, hearing their stories, finding places of commonality and divergence. Listening and talking bring me a great deal of joy. Also, meeting new people and creating lasting relationships is a source of joy.
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
The pastor who baptized me, the pastor who pushed me to seminary, and the pastor who has walked with me during my time in seminary all inspire me. The Sisters of Saint Joseph who nurtured my spirituality and encouraged me to explore my faith and the world around me continue to inspire me. I am perpetually inspired by my professors at seminary, their unique experiences and the amazing gifts they bring to their teaching and ministry.
What are your interests outside of ministry?
Nature, hiking, being active, my wife's cooking, local wineries and breweries, traveling the world, the four legged creatures with whom we share our home, filling out Proclaim profiles, always laughing.
Best meal you've ever eaten?
Traveling through Ireland, very hungry, happened upon a sleepy little village. Most of the shops were closed but a small cafe was open. I was so hungry, the woman handed me two slices of plain white bread separated by a cold cut of ham. To this day (*despite the fact that I no longer eat beef/pork/four legged animals) that was the best meal I have ever eaten.
I grew up in a small suburb of the (also small) city of Hartford. I graduated the town high school in 2007, and from there I moved to the Boston area to study at a small Catholic liberal arts college founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph (who retain a heavy presence at the college). In 2009 I studied in London, spending much of my time traveling throughout Western Europe (I have visited fifteen countries). In 2011 I graduated with bachelor's degrees in Psychology and English. I went right from undergrad to seminary at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. In the fall of 2011 I met my fantastic partner. We were married on June 29, 2013 at our home congregation in Connecticut, surrounded by our amazing family and wonderful friends.
Did you always want to be clergy?
My parents were both raised Roman Catholic, and left the church before they got married (it was the 70's and they weren't thrilled with the Church's views on women). When I was born, my parents elected to neither baptize me nor raise me in any particular faith tradition (as all they knew was the Roman Catholic Church). My father died of a soft tissue sarcoma when I was eight years old, which left me with tons of questions about and for God. I did a lot of reading on my own, but by the time I was fifteen I decided I needed community in order to answer my questions. I found community and love among the people of Our Savior's, and after a full academic year of Christian education, I was baptized in June of 2005. I always felt God's call, but didn't always recognize it as a call to ministry. In August 2009 I got my confirmation that I am called to ministry.