Rev. Michael C. Meyer
- Trenton, Michigan
St Philip is a small struggling congregation in the Downriver community south of Detroit. The congregation understands the need to become much more diverse to reflect the neighborhood around the church. They have recently completed the process to become the first RIC congregation in the Downriver community.
What brings you joy in your ministry?
Getting to know the people of St Philip, the depth of their faith journeys and their commitment to making the love of Jesus known in their neighborhood. They are a welcoming and inclusive congregation in a largely conservative area. Having become RIC, they recognize the need for free anonymous HIV testing and counseling in the whole Downriver region. We have recently completed the process to offer this ministry in the walls of our church. As an RN and Clergy it affords opportunities to share the love of Jesus with people who thought they would never hear a welcoming word from the church. They have found a home here.
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
Jesus our Lord, who showed in word and deed what Gospel means to us. Martin Luther who showed us that we must ALWAYS be reforming to make the Gospel real in our time and place. Martin Luther King Jr who showed that our culture of racism, materialism, and militarism is the greatest challenge to the Gospel for all people AND the GOSPEL is the greatest challenge to racism, materialism and militarism.
What are your interests outside of ministry?
I am very interested in Faith Community Nursing and Health Ministries in the Church. I am also interested in building an intentional community in the northern California forest near Mt Shasta with a self-sufficient homestead in the woods. I intend to accomplish that before I retire to heaven.
Best meal you've ever eaten?
My 9th wedding anniversary with Carson at the Ahywane Hotel in Yosemite National Park.. A once in a life time weekend with the person I love most in the world. The setting was romantic and the meals absolutely magical.
Pastor Mike Meyer is a graduate of California Hospital School of Nursing and Mt St Mary's College in Los Angeles where he earned his RN 1982, BSN & PHN 1986. He graduated from Trinity Lutheran Seminary with his M DIV in 1992. Pastor Meyer was Ordained in 1994 and has served Trinity Lutheran Church and Resurrection Lutheran Church in Long Beach California. Mike met his soul mate Carson Anderson shortly before his Ordination and they have been partners ever since. They were formally married at St John's Episcopal Church May 1 1999, the congregation Carson was an active member at the time. The Bishop later accepted Pastor Mike's resignation from the Clergy Roster when it was clear that the rules of the ELCA would not allow Clergy in committed relationships to continue in their call in Word & Sacrament Ministry. Mike Meyer continued his ministry in nursing with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (sic); serving as an RN, a public health nurse, an RN instructor and as a Nursing Supervisor. He served at Corcoran State Prison, San Quentin, California Correctional Center in Susanville and at the California State Prison Sacramento. He found that his call to ministry never left him. He simply served in a new and different capacity. When the rules of the ELCA were evolved to welcome LGBT Clergy in committed relationships to serve in the full ministry of the church. The same Bishop called Pastor Meyer to discuss returning to the Clergy Roster once again. Upon completion of the candidacy process and being returned to the Clergy Roster. Pastor Mike was quickly called to serve a small struggling congregation in Trenton Michigan, which could only afford a part time pastor. Fortunately for all concerned a BI-vocational ministry was acceptable to the congregation, Pastor Mike and the Southeast Michigan Synod and Bishop. Being an RN and Clergy offers a flexible call to ministry where a congregation might be unable to call a pastor at all. We will see how this adventure develops with the Holy Spirit and the people of St Philip Lutheran Church of Trenton Michigan.
Did you always want to be clergy?
I have never been a fan of the institutional church or the hierarchical, authoritarian nature of the church. In my spiritual journey, I have embraced the notion that one does not have to be absorbed into the institutional thinking of the church to serve Jesus Christ. AMEN. I always found inspiration in Jesus who was not fan of institutional religious establishments. I have most often found my joy in ministry talking with those who have been burned and excluded from the church or frankly agnostic. I find them more honest and refreshing. To introduce the REAL Jesus to people who have never realized who he was before... is pure joy. Unconditional love, acceptance and healing is what a nurse or follower of Jesus commits their life to serving.