Rev. Alex Raabe
- Austin, TX
Graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago May 2014. Currently serving as a mission developer for Table of Mercy in Austin, TX.
What brings you joy in your ministry?
Listening to people's stories, both of pain and joy. I don't know of any other career where you can be so intimately involved in people's lives and join with them in Christian Community. I also love distributing communion to people...there is something so special in that moment of looking someone in the eyes, calling them a child of God, and giving them the body of Christ. Even with people I don't like, it is still a humbling and beautiful moment to be giving away God's gifts.
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
I am inspired by many of the faculty at LSTC who risked their careers for something they believed in. We have a lot of faculty who are former professors at Seminex, who walked out of Concordia Seminary after being accused of heresy and wouldn't change their convictions. I also am inspired by all the people at House For All Sinners and Saints in so many ways...notably that everyone is in charge of taking care of everyone else. There are no designated sick people and no designated healthy people, everyone takes turns caring for others and being cared for. There are so many more people who inspire me in different ways: Lady Gaga, President Obama, Pope Francis, various synodical Bishops who give me hope for the future of the Church, baristas who pour coffee all day and still greet me with a smile (staying cheerful for that long is hard!). I try to take some inspiration from everyone I meet, I believe that everyone has something to share with the world.
What are your interests outside of ministry?
I love cooking (but not cleaning up after myself....anyone want to help with that?) and it is a huge stress relief to be able to just throw together a meal for myself or friends. I have a ridiculous passion for 'designer' ice creams after spending hundreds of dollars and countless hours at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, OH (they're bringing it to Chicago too!!) and love creating new flavors of ice cream, to the delight of my seminary classmates. Of course theatre is a passion of mine, though now I am always in front of the curtain, not behind the scenes making everything work. It brings me immense joy when I am at a show where something technical happens that I cannot figure out, it gives me hope in the magic of theatre, even for someone who has been jaded by working behind the scenes of it.
Best meal you've ever eaten?
The best meal I've ever eaten....this is difficult. I'm an enneagram 7, which means my fault is gluttony...and it certainly is true. I love every food I've eaten....but a good meal in recent history was my first trip back to Chicago during internship, I had been gone about 8 months at that point. I made it a point to go to Portillo's Hot Dogs and have a Chicago dog and crinkle fries. No judgments, Chicago has the best hot dogs anywhere, and you can't find them as good in Denver.
Alex Raabe hails from rural Northwest Ohio, and has progressively been living in larger cities ever since. He went to Otterbein University in a suburb of Columbus, OH where he majored in Theatre with concentrations in Scenic Painting and Costume Design. His favorite set to paint was for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Immediately after graduating he started at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He has just finished his internship at House For All Sinners and Saints in Denver, CO. He appreciates good ice cream, art installations, and greyhounds. He also accepts donations of any of those.
Did you always want to be clergy?
No, I didn't. When I was in 4th grade, my pastor told me I would be a good pastor. I don't know if he told everyone that, just to get more pastors, or not...but I dismissed the idea. Between 4th grade and the time I decided to go to seminary (my sophomore year of college) I wanted to do lots of different things, even though the 'pastor' phrase kept popping into my head as this little whisper. Even once I decided being a pastor was what I was called to do, I still resisted. I had planned on working for Gap Inc. in their corporate visuals department for 5-10 years after graduation to make some money, and also to wait for the ELCA to decide to ordain partnered gay clergy. After visiting LSTC during my spring break my Junior year of college, I was driving back to school and called my mom to tell her that I couldn't wait, and was going to go to seminary the minute I graduated college. I am incredibly grateful that 4 months later the church decided to allow partnered gay clergy, and to all the people who struggled to make that happen.