Rev. Diana Linden-Johnson
- El Paso, TX
Peace Lutheran Church
What brings you joy in your ministry?
I feel blessed beyond measure to be called to work that asks me to be attentive to my relationship with God and to help others be aware of and attentive to that relationship, as well. I love to do this through prayer, Biblical study, preaching, teaching, conversing and just being! I also love this work that calls us to have our hearts broken with the things that break the heart of God. I know that doesn't necessarily sound joyful, but I think it's a gift to say, "Look, God wants liberty and justice for God's people - all of them!!"
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
Many people. I am grateful for the LGBTQ pastors who have been involved in the struggle for ordination for many, many years including the Rev. Dr. Kevin Maly, Rev. Anita Hill and Rev. Jeff Johnson, as well as for the many allies who supported and worked alongside them. I don't believe I would have the freedom to live into my call if it were not for these people. I am also inspired by and grateful for my partner Michaele, whose simple words, "I still think you have gifts for ministry," have led us on a truly crazy journey. And for my children, who are daily reminders of God's goodness as well as the blessing and necessity of forgiveness!
What are your interests outside of ministry?
Gardening, cooking, drinking coffee, hiking, camping, sitting by rivers, knitting, sewing, yoga, drawing, writing letters, talking with friends, being with family. This makes it sound like I have a lot of time, which I don't, but these are all things I try to get as much of as I can!
Best meal you've ever eaten?
I have been blessed with many good meals, but the one that comes to mind is a dinner that Michaele and I shared on our honeymoon in Cinque Terre, Italy, in which we ate freshly caught fish (served whole, so the kind German woman at the table next to us had to help us fillet it) and tasty wine while overlooking the sea. It was lovely.
I grew up in Loveland, Colorado. After high school I lived and traveled in various places, including Switzerland, Hungary, Ecuador, and the American Southwest. I graduated from the Colorado College, Iliff School of Theology and soon will graduate from Luther Seminary, as well. Because of and in spite of all this wandering I have ended up just 15 minutes from my childhood home- in Ft. Collins, Colorado, home of the micro-brew!
Did you always want to be clergy?
I have always loved church and found home there, but I first sensed a call to ministry when I was a freshman in high school. That call just kept getting stronger and stronger and never went away, even when I tried to walk away from it. Thank God that the ELCA changed its policy and that God's call was still waiting for me with open arms when I returned!