“Grace fills us with a passion to be able to share that kind of senseless love with the world.”
She was all of 8 years old, in the third grade. Pastor Kris Capel felt a call to ministry when she was asked to read Scripture on Mother’s Day. She recalls how seriously she took her role that day in church, and how she was “weirdly at home” in the pulpit.
With 4500 members, Easter Lutheran Church, Eagan, is the largest congregation led by a woman pastor in the ELCA. It is not lost on her how important it is for women to have the opportunity to be ordained – and to lead.
There are still Lutheran churches in the ELCA unwilling to call a woman pastor for any position. There are churches who will call a woman for an associate position, but not as senior pastor. This seems especially true for larger congregations.
Pastor Kris is grateful for the vision of Easter to hire a lead woman pastor in 2011. Easter’s current theme, “All In”, sums up how Pastor Kris describes the “Vision Board”, a term used to describe the group known as the “church council” at most churches. She speaks with excitement about the level of trust and cohesiveness in the leadership team at Easter.
Pastor Kris points to her mother as a key influence in her life of faith. Karen Capel was also ordained as Lutheran pastor at age 65, after Kris became a pastor. Kris said her mother would have become a pastor earlier in her life had the church been ordaining women at that time. Rev. Karen Capel served four years and passed away in October of 2014. Her legacy of love and grace and possibility lives on.
So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27-28 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)