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Rev. Susan Halvor

  • Anchorage, Alaska

Ministry setting

I'm currently the manager of Spiritual Care at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska, where I began serving as Children's Hospital Chaplain in 2004.

What brings you joy in your ministry?

I love that I get to work with people from all walks of life -- churched and unchurched, patients, families and staff -- particularly at times that often matter most. It is a tremendous privilege to be present with people during the heart stretching moments of crisis, death, new life, deep love. God's grace, surprise, humor and compassion continue to open my heart and amaze me, most often at unexpected moments. I especially love working with families, working with staff, and working with people who live in the margins. I also love doing ministry with the GLBT community in Anchorage (and also love that I'm no longer the only queer clergy in Anchorage!).

Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?

Jan L. Richardson, artist and author of Sacred Journeys, Night Visions, and many other rich devotional resources

What are your interests outside of ministry?

I love to write, run, bike, hike, cross country ski, play outside with my dog Jack, line dance and two-step, enjoy live music ... Anchorage is a great place to be!

Best meal you've ever eaten?

I have very fond memories of a vacation dinner in Canby, Oregon where we got to enjoy fondue, artisan pizza and a bottle of wine at an outdoor table in the sun at Puddin River Chocolates, with, of course, a delicious chocolate dessert.

Brief bio

I grew up on the Oregon Coast, with my parents, younger brother and assorted cats. I continued family tradition by attending Pacific Lutheran University, getting a degree in Communications and Global Studies, and perhaps learning the most through my educational experiences abroad (based in Watford, England and Cuernevaca, Mexico). I spent two years in Washington, D.C. (the first year through Lutheran Volunteer Corps) working with homeless women in recovery from substance abuse at Sarah House, part of Luther Place Shelter Ministries. After some more time traveling and volunteering at Holden Village, I attended seminary at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, graduated in 2000, and moved to Alaska for my first call as an associate pastor at Joy Lutheran Church.

Did you always want to be clergy?

I knew that I was going to be a writer, most likely a journalist, perhaps an international journalist. In my late teens, my family was vacationing at Holden Village in the North Cascades, and there were a number of women pastors there. I had known there *were* female pastors, but hadn't really known any, and was astounded at these women and especially the ways they used their voices as pastors for justice. One of them spent quite a bit of time with me and with my family. She asked if I'd ever thought about being a pastor. I laughed. She told me she saw something in me, and that grew. After a lot of arguing with God, I've been ordained and serving as a pastor/chaplain since 2000

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