Rev. Becca Seely
- New York, NY
I am the pastor of The Vine NYC, a growing, creative worshiping community of college and graduate students in New York City. I am also the Executive Director of Lutheran Ministries in Higher Education, a pan-Lutheran non-profit committed to supporting campus ministry throughout the Metro New York area.
What brings you joy in your ministry?
It brings me lots and lots of joy to help people discover their gifts and challenges and to find ways to grow into them--and to continue discovering my own. Also, though I can barely match pitches, singing hymns in the congregation lights up my life.
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
I totally admire the Rev. Jeff Johnson, pastor at University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley and Proclaim member extraordinaire. I would love to be a pastor like him when I grow up! Also, more generally, I am inspired by people in ministry--and seminary-- who are willing to take risks and to fail sometimes.
What are your interests outside of ministry?
I enjoy cooking, reading novels, going for walks, planning theme parties and attempting to write young adult fiction.
Best meal you've ever eaten?
I adored the German breakfasts when I studied abroad in Regensburg, Germany in college. If I could eat soft pretzels with butter, nutella, salami and cheese for every meal, I would.
I hail from St. Louis, MO, where I was raised in a mostly secular home. I found my way to a deep interest in religion during college and was baptized as a young adult after graduation at the first Lutheran church in which I ever set foot - St. JME in Brooklyn, NY. After working at a non-profit in NYC for a few years, I went to Yale Divinity School, where I graduated with an MDIV in 2012. After that, my lovely, Proclaim member wife Abby Ferjak and I moved to California, where I completed a Lutheran Year at PLTS in Berkeley and then spent a year in LA as the fabulous Proclaim member Jim Boline's intern at St. Paul's in Santa Monica. Recently, we moved back east again, once more to New York City. I am currently in my first call as pastor to The Vine NYC College Ministry and Executive Director of Lutheran Ministries in Higher Education in New York.
Did you always want to be clergy?
I remember watching the minister at the Unitarian Universalist church we attended occasionally when I was a child and thinking, "That would be a cool job!". Then I promptly forgot about it for 15 years. I guess sometimes it just takes a while for things to percolate.