Rev. Gretchen Colby Rode
- St. Paul, MN
I am currently serving as Program Coordinator for Twin Cities Houses of Hospitality and Pastor at House of Hope Lutheran in New Hope, MN.
What brings you joy in your ministry?
I feel honored to be invited into people's lives at crucial moments. Sharing a conversation with a family member of someone who is dying or celebrating the birthday of a five year old at church is a great gift. I am thankful to God for providing these open moments within ministry.
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
Oscar Romero, Ignatius, Luther...so that sounds highfalutin, but I am really inspired by these men and their ability to read the scripture and to say "Hey, wait a minute! God is all about love! Jesus was all about poor people, underprivileged people, us..." and then changing their lives (and their church) because of it.
What are your interests outside of ministry?
I love salsa dancing. I love to read, especially young adult fiction and the classics. I like biking, swimming, walking outside. I love to laugh and to make people laugh.
Best meal you've ever eaten?
Jill and I love to make steak bites. Sometime you can come over and we'll make them for you. They are delicious.
I grew up in Northfield, Minnesota, enjoying eating cheese curds at Defeat of Jesse James Days and spending several years teaching small children how not to drown while working at the outdoor pool. After studying Biology at Vassar College, I lived in Chile for a year teaching English with WorldTeach where I learned to enjoy eating empanadas and dancing the cueca. I taught middle school science for two years with the KIPP schools in California, imparting the important knowledge of plate tectonics and DNA structure to preteens, before starting seminary.
Did you always want to be clergy?
Although I have always loved and been actively involved in church, I had thrown my hat into the teacher ring. When my teaching job in Oakland became overwhelmingly stressful, I had the opportunity to lead a delegation from my Lutheran church in Berkeley (ULC) to El Salvador. It was in El Salvador that I saw how influential the church's message could be and how important it was for the church to stand up for the rights of the people. A church that could be with people and stand for the people was a church I was ready and excited to be a part of!