Anita T. Nuetzman is a graduating senior at Wartburg Theological Seminary.  She has been approved for ordination and assigned to the Northeastern Iowa Synod.

When I showed up for my entrance interview, I expected the candidacy committee to do its job, that is, to tell me I was unfit for ministry and send me back home with a lovely “thanks but no thanks” card.

It would be pretty, with a scripture verse on it about how we all have a part to play in the body of Christ, but that I was something like a toenail, nice to have but not essential and certainly nothing others would look to for leadership.

I could not see my Call as clearly as the committee could.

Their role throughout my candidacy was to light my way through a darkness that threatened to keep me at home on my couch watching “Little House on the Prairie”  reruns.

They refused to let me hide behind my fear.

Since you can’t really walk alongside someone who won’t move, some pulled and some pushed, while others kept watch of my steps, in case I tried to retreat.

For me, the synod candidacy committee functioned not as a gatekeeper, but a gate-breaker. If they hadn’t, I’d surely have turned around and shut it myself.

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.




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