Imagery of church-related people and places.

Rev. Cara Knutson

Ministry setting

Methodist Manor Retirement Community is made up of Bayside Nursing Home, Otsego Place Assisted Living, and Lake Pointe Villa Independent Living. I attend to the needs of residents in all three facilities offering two Sunday services a week, Bible studies at each of the buildings, regular visitation, and lead other activities as well. We hold a yearly service of remembrance each All Saints day. I've also had the opportunity to start and lead a grief group for the residents as well as discuss many issues in sermons, studies, and conversations around spirituality and aging.

What brings you joy in your ministry?

My residents regularly delight and astonish me and many are such an incredible witness of lifelong faithfulness and Christian discipleship. They've also helped me to learn how much I have to offer and how much I still can learn from men and women who have seen and experienced so much of life!

Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?

I have several residents who I have experienced such intersections between their faith journeys and my own. When I'm needing to refresh my spirit an hour in their company reminds me of the joy I find in serving Christ in this way!

What are your interests outside of ministry?

How to encourage toddlers to eat vegetables, books on potty training, and civil war reenacting :)

Best meal you've ever eaten?

Orange duck, wild mushroom risotto, and asparagus--it was crazy good with such a blend of flavors--sweet, smoky, salty, pungent, earthy yumminess!

Brief bio

I grew up in South Dakota and graduated from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. When I began discerning call I attended St. John's School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, MN for one year. For a long time I experienced a growing sense of call as well as numerous roadblocks. After the 2009 Churchwide decision I became entranced, then quickly endorsed. I spent a wonderful year in Tallahassee, FL for my internship then had a not so wonderful year completing a yearlong CPE residency in La Crosse, WI while I also finished the candidacy and assignment process. Through a series of events, God led me to Northwest Iowa to what felt like the most unlikely place and way to live out my call. What a surprise to find God already at work! In short order I was offered a full time chaplaincy position at a long term care facility, was approached by the local bishop about ordination, and with his assistance petitioned the conference of bishops to allow a first call to specialized ministry. This past Dec. a small group of my closest and dearest people gathered with me in a tiny little church in the Twin Cities where I was ordained. Since then I've found great fulfillment in ministry with older adults. My family also began foster care, had a couple of placements and are waiting with open hearts and an open home to welcome children needing a forever family. What a whirlwind year! Praise be to God!

Did you always want to be clergy?

I was baptized at seven and always had to play the pastor when my friends and I played Barbies because I remembered all the words to "dearly beloved..." I have always been drawn to things of a spiritual nature and have contemplated a call to ordained ministry for much of my adult life.

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