Dear Salem Lutheran Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My name is Trish Jorgenson and I am honored and humbled that you voted to call me as your next pastor. When I read Salem’s Ministry Profile, I felt drawn to not only your lament concerning children and youth ministry, but the ministry you are doing such as your Wednesday night suppers. I also read your Transition Task Force’s Final Report and thought, “Wow, you have done a lot of good and faithful work to get to this point,”and found myself rather excited about the possibility of walking with Salem through the next phase of this journey. I served as pastor to Gethsemane Lutheran Church, in Upsala, MN, for the past ten years and this was actually still my first call. My decision to consider a new call was not due to conflict nor any other negative situation. Rather, it was a growing sense that God was calling me to something ‘new.’ It was actually about the same time that your transition task force began discerning what God had in mind for Salem’s future, that God began nudging me to fill out my Rostered Leader Profile. (Coincidence or God – your call).
I was born in Charleston, SC, but raised in Northwood, IA. After graduating from high school I attended Waldorf College in Forest City, IA, where I met my husband, Mitch, of 27 years. We have two children: Nadja, who is 26 years old, and Austin who is 22 years old. We also have one granddaughter, Emma, who is 4 years old. After Mitch and I were married, I continued attending school and crammed a four year degree into seven years, eventually graduating from Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji, MN, Summa Cum Laude, with my Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies. After Oak Hills, I went to Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA and graduated “thank the laude (lord)” with an M. Div. degree. Along the way, I worked on an assembly line at Polaris in Roseau, MN (where my husband grew up), was an assistant manager for Hardees, a home health care nurse, a waitress, and home daycare provider. I love being outdoors, trips to the Boundary Waters, catching and eating fish and sailing. But, to balance all the ‘tom-boyish’ stuff, I also love thrift store shopping, ‘DIY’ Pinterest projects, and cooking. In regard to ministry and pastoral leadership strengths and experiences, I may not have a long list of congregations that I have served, but by the grace and help of God, have a long list of experiences: I helped develop and implement the use of power point and media in worship services. I have experience with both traditional and contemporary worship services. Gethsemane now does safe boundaries training for all volunteers and staff who work with children, youth and vulnerable adults. I have walked with young couples as they prepare for marriage, and couples who have been married for many years as they work to reconcile due to marital infidelity. I have picked up sticks in the cemetery, scrubbed walls, and unplugged toilets. I have attended two NEMN Synod Journey and ELCA Tri Annual Youth Gatherings and taken up to 37 youth and adult leaders on Qahal (a yearly youth event I developed to build relationships with our youth and adult leaders, and have fun!).