Rev. Miriam Samuelson-Roberts
- Minneapolis, MN
Associate Pastor at Westwood Lutheran Church, St. Louis Park, MN
What brings you joy in your ministry?
Being a part of people's holy moments--births, deaths, anxieties, joys, fears, celebrations--ultimately brings me deep joy, even if some of those moments don't seem joyful at the time. The knowledge that the Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of individuals and communities is a wellspring of joy for me.
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
Oh there are too many to name! I have been so grateful for mentors and teachers near and far. I begin each day by reading meditations from the Henri Nouwen Society, Richard Rohr, and the blog of David Lose; each inspire me in different ways. I am grateful for my professors at Yale Divinity School who have helped shape and guide me; their example inspires me as I live into a ministerial call. I am grateful for and inspired by all the women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and all who have felt "othered" by the church and society who still continue to engage in relationship, prayer, and faithful witness as they work to bring about God's kingdom.
What are your interests outside of ministry?
I like to knit, bike, camp, garden, cook, be with family and friends, and do as many things outside in nice weather as possible.
Best meal you've ever eaten?
Anything eaten straight from the garden among people I love.
I spent the first half of my childhood in semi-rural Iowa and the second half in Atlanta, and then I moved up to Minnesota to attend St. Olaf College. After college, I worked at St. Olaf as an admissions officer and career advisor before making my way to Yale Divinity School. I completed my internship at Augustana Lutheran in West St. Paul, MN, and was called to Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park, MN in 2017. I live in Minneapolis with my husband Daniel (so yes, I am a bisexual woman married to a man!) and our pug.
Did you always want to be clergy?
I always answer this with an emphatic "No! My parents are pastors and I never thought I would do this!" but apparently my mother recently discovered a drawing that I did in elementary school of me preaching that said "I want to be a pastor so I can help people by preaching." So perhaps the inkling of a call has been there all along. I began to consider a call to ministry, ever so quietly in silent conversations with God, in 2009 when the ELCA opened ordination to those in same-sex relationships. As I became more and more open to God's voice, I heard a call to ordained ministry, and have been living into that call ever since.