Rev. Andrew Nelson
- Old Chatham, NY
Pastor at Christ our Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Chatham, NY and Dean of Hudson Mohawk Conference, Upstate NY.
What brings you joy in your ministry?
I learned high liturgy in college and love big processions and great works of art and beautiful music and I am serving halftime in a tiny parish that works very differently, which is a complete delight. The youngest children join me at the altar when we have twenty or more folks in worship, and when we have a dozen or fewer we worship seated in a circle so everyone can lead and feed. We're a bit cluttered and a bit disorganized in a way that really works for us, and we have great ecumenical neighbors with whom we share midweek Lenten services. Worship with my community is where my heart is, even on the days I'm not so sure about my sermon, and now that I live two blocks from the sanctuary I am able to see my people during the week. Half-time barista work also means I got to bless the marriage of a coworker last summer and lead a house blessing for another barista just last month, not to mention getting to know the coffee shop regulars as an extension of the flock, so to speak. And being Dean gives me the chance to stay connected with my colleagues, which community I love.
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
Y'all. The people I meet via everything I listed above in the 'what brings you joy' section. Preparing to preach, and wrestling with the texts in Greek/Hebrew or just plain old English. Finding time and places to pray and worship in community, like the Trappist monastery nearby that prays the hours. Walking around the neighborhood and hearing the birds (I know it's cheesy, but we're part of the whole creation, not meant to be separate from it). My flatmate's cat. Um... Jesus? Yeah, Jesus. And injustice inspires me to preach with passion whenever I am able, to engage in conversation, and to pray I become a better listener.
What are your interests outside of ministry?
Coffee. Hiking. Kayaking. Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman. Gardening, though I don't really have a place for much of that and really just like to play in the dirt, and trying to get connected with Habitat for Humanity so I can pound some nails. Getting back into reading young adult novels, fiction/fantasy/scifi stuff. Running/lifting has become something of almost a prayer discipline when I get around to it.
Best meal you've ever eaten?
For the food or for the company?