I grew up in Syracuse, NY in a family affiliated strongly with Syracuse University. My German mother was an English Writing Instructor at Syracuse University (SU), my Norwegian father taught Mathematics for 40 years there, and my older brother attended SU for his undergraduate and Master’s Degree and worked there for 17 years. Growing up we attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in the old German neighborhood of Syracuse. My mother and I were very active within the congregation. My favorite times at church revolved around my times within our church youth group, SPY’s. With the changing economic environment and the aging population the difficult decision was made to close St. Paul’s after 110 years of service to the community.
Because of my family’s tight affiliation with Syracuse University, my dog would have worked there if he could have, I chose to continue my education elsewhere in a colder environment. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from St. Lawrence University, and then traveled south to Pennsylvania where I attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work with my Master’s in Social Work. I spent seven years serving as a Psychiatric Social Worker working with physically, sexually, and emotionally abused children within community and hospital settings.
When I had my first child New Year’s Eve 1999 I decided to stay home to raise them. My kids are the new generation of Lutherans in my family. We joined St. Paul’s in 2000 since I knew one person here at St. Paul’s (you can thank her later) and have had all the three children baptized here. I spent the next 8 years as a stay at home mom to raise them when a phone call came from the then interim pastor at the suggestion of Rae Ann asking “do you work, outside the home, that is? Would you be willing to fill in until we find a real secretary?” That was November 2007. I’ve been here since then.
I have loved working at St. Paul’s, within my own congregation and church family. There is finesse to juggling worshipping and working within the same place, but I think overall it has been a win-win for both the congregation, for me, and for my family. This has been my favorite job of my adult career. I must admit lifeguarding as a teenager was probably top on my list but only because I was being paid to sit out in the sun working on my tan! The staff and members of St. Paul’s are a wonderful group with which to work. I?m glad I was asked to fill in until “a real secretary could be found”.