Rev. Brenda Bos
- Pasadena, CA
I am enjoying my first call at Christ Lutheran San Clemente in Orange County, CA. I mention Orange County because it has a well-deserved reputation for being conservative and rather homogenous. For this church to call a LGBT candidate is a bold witness to the gospel! We have a proud tradition of two services, one in our beautiful sanctuary, and another on the beach every Sunday at 8 a.m. among surfers, kids on the playground and two or three passenger trains which pass twenty feet behind the congregation. It's quite an adventure!
What brings you joy in your ministry?
When I worked in television production, my greatest joy was helping people find their potential, trying to clear the way for them to get their work done in the most satisfying, creative manner. Bringing a large group of people together around a common goal was exhilarating. The same is true in ministry. Of course, we never got to administer sacraments in Hollywood, and that's something I find truly amazing in ministry. God is so present, so close, and I love helping people connect to that Loving God.
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
I'm very inspired by happy clergy, and am fortunate enough to know several. Jim Boline, Scott Maxwell-Dougherty and Guy Erwin come right to mind. But I'm also inspired by the people in my congregations who share so much of themselves and encourage me and cajole me and generally demand the most of God and God's people. And there are a ton of really kick-ass young pastors in my synod. I want to be like them when I grow up.
What are your interests outside of ministry?
My dogs, hiking, swimming, almost any show on the Food network.
Best meal you've ever eaten?
Most memorable was my second date with my wife, where she told me the story of her life and I was absolutely mesmerized for two and a half hours. The food was pretty good too. I think.
I grew up in a fundamentalist Dutch immigrant community in Southern California and shocked everyone when I told them the truth about myself: I wanted to work in Hollywood. I got my BA in Television Production from Pepperdine University in Malibu (the school that used to host "Battle of the Network Stars"...some of you will remember that) and had an eighteen year career in sitcom production, mostly at Warner Bros. in Burbank. My parents divorced when I was eighteen, which further ostracized us from our community, so I had a few strikes against me before I came out.I received my M Div from Claremont School of Theology and did my Lutheran year at Pacific Lutheran Theology Seminary. I met my partner in 2008, had a church blessing in 2011 and we were married legally July 3, 2013. We adopted our seventeen year old foster son Joshua in November, 2014.
Did you always want to be clergy?
Well, sort of. I felt the call to ministry when I was 14, giving chapel talks in my little Christian school. But we weren't ordaining women, and when I was older, I knew we weren't ordaining lesbians, so I moved quickly away from wondering how to be a minister to wondering how to work in Hollywood (they are more closely related than most of us would care to admit). While that career was very successful, I started to remember that old call, and also knew it was time to simplify my life. I wasn't sure what that would look like. Then a young woman on my television show died, and I was asked to be the pastor at her very secular funeral. I stood on a television stage and proclaimed the gospel. Many people that day told me I was probably in the wrong line of work. I knew they were right, and began the long, painful, amazing discernment process to ordination.