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Christephor Gilbert

  • Fort Wayne, IN & Chicago, IL
  • he/him/his

Ministry setting

I am in the Master of Divinity program at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

What brings you joy in your ministry?

I love to sit with people and listen to their stories! I find that I learn new things about them, subjects about which I had no idea, and I get to glimpse God working in our lives, together, in mutuality. Relationality is where all the theory of church comes alive in the body of Christ!

Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?

Not so much who, but what inspires me is the history of our faith as rooted in the early church - and part of that history is the legacy that continues to be lived out among our Roman Catholic and Orthodox siblings. I continue to be amazed, enriched, and endlessly curious about how what we do today came from this itinerant, hidden, and persecuted reality of the first century.

What are your interests outside of ministry?

I am still very interested in the performing arts, especially dance-based performing groups that use other aspects of theater and art to convey meaning in their work. I still love to read (even thought seminary can make that a difficult thing to enjoy), and I sew (garments and quilts) and knit.

Best meal you've ever eaten?

A favorite that I hope to get back to one day is Pacifica Thai, located just a stone's throw from the beach in Pacifica, CA (a small coastal town south of San Francisco). The best Pad Thai I have ever had!

Brief bio

Christephor is a student in the Master of Divinity program at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and is in Candidacy with the ELCA toward Word and Sacrament ministry. Prior to seminary, Christephor worked as the Program Manager for the Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts in Louisville, KY, following his first career as a dancer, dance educator, and choreographer (MFA Dance, University of Hawaii). Christephor recently moved to Fort Wayne, IN with his partner Donald and their three cats. Christephor served as the Communications and Operations Coordinator for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries from 2016-2018. Christephor’s home congregation is Third Lutheran Church in Louisville, KY (where fellow Proclaim member, Rev. Steven Renner, is pastor).

Did you always want to be clergy?

I did not! In fact, I often can't believe that God has brought me to this place toward pastoral ministry! For most of my life I was spiritual, not religious, having not been brought up within any formal faith tradition. in 2010 I went to work for the Kentucky Center where my then boss, and now pastor, Rev. Steven Renner, entertained my questions about what it was like to be a gay Christian. A year later I was baptized, then confirmed, and after two years of additional studies in Christian spirituality, I felt the call toward more learning and more service.

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