July 25, 2003 at 10:25 a.m.
Pastor Andrea’s start in the ministry came later in life as she worked 14 years in government and business positions before receiving a call to full-time, ordained ministry. What started as a “temporary” position for the Minnesota Department of Education wound up being a 10-year stay, which was followed by four years as a “techie” and trainer for educational software companies.
At age 35, as she was awaiting a change in her job status from consultant to permanent employee with an educational software company, she was led to explore the ministry. Pastor Andrea prayed, she explains, and asked God for some indication of the direction she should take. The promised change in status never materialized, and the company shortly closed its doors. For her, it was a clear indication of God’s intention for her life.
After graduating from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Pastor Andrea was ordained an elder in the Methodist Church (meaning she was now among the clergy of the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church). During her years in seminary, she explored and developed her teaching and mentoring skills with encouragement and support of several seminary professors. Her passions in the ministry have developed in the areas of teaching, preaching, and evangelism.
“As I have had the opportunity to work with persons in and outside of the faith community, God has been teaching me how to effectively communicate the good news of Jesus Christ in new and relevant ways to our culture,” she explains.
Pastor Andrea has a strong belief in God’s direction in a person’s life, citing two very clear recent examples in her own life. After serving the Brooklyn Center church, she was considering application for admittance to Princeton University. A colleague intervened, suggesting that she should explore the ministry needs of young adults in the Wyoming area. The results of her study ended up in a call to ministry of young adults and in the creation of a part-time position as a pastor to young adults through the Wyoming church––something that she hadn’t even envisioned. It derailed her intentions of Princeton but ministry to young adults, an age group often not well served in the faith community, has become an important part of her ministry. The second example was when she was approached to consider being an interim pastor at First United Methodist Church. The Conference rarely uses interim pastors and she hadn’t imagined that there would be the opportunity to serve another church, “right in her own backyard.”
“God has something for me to contribute and many things for me to learn,” she said. Pastor Andrea believes, “I’m staying open to whatever God has planned for our ministry together in Lindstrom and the surrounding communities.”
Pastor Andrea and her husband Barry have lived in Wyoming for 23 years. He teaches special education in the North Branch school system. They are the parents of two children – a daughter who is finishing at Concordia College in Moorhead, and a son entering Augustana College, in Sioux Falls, S.D., this fall.
Feel free to come meet Pastor Andrea as she spends time in our community. First United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Third and Irene Streets in Lindstrom. Sunday services are at 9:15 a.m. (Classic) and 10:45 a.m. (Contemporary). For more information, call the church office at 651/257-4306.