What you see is what you get with Pastor Elína Hrund Kristjánsdóttir. A forthright and authentic person with a (self-described) sarcastic sense of humor, she is living out her call to be a woman leader in the church and to help other women in their lives. She is a pastor and a staff member inthe bishop’s office in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, dealing with issues of gender justice and equal rights.
Elína was quite young when her husband passed away, leaving her as single parent. She considers ministry her “second career”, her first career was being home to raise her children. At 40, she went back to school, and never looked back.
Elína was raised in a home where she was encouraged, along with her sister, to be anything she wanted. She even thought about being a ship captain like her dad, which she said would be "no problem." She believes her upbringing, along with the strong mentorship of Iceland’s first ordained woman pastor, Auður Eir Vilhjálmsdóttir, inspired her, giving her a clear picture of what was possible. (See blog post February 13, 2016).
Feminist theology makes sense to Pastor Elína Hrund Kristjánsdóttir. She is an unapologetic feminist who doesn’t believe God can be reduced to “an old man with a white beard in the sky.”
The influence of Auður Eir Vilhjálmsdóttir and the Women’s Church lives on as a legacy of possibility and wholeness for all of God’s creation. Recognizing the many metaphors used for God throughout Scripture aids us in recognizing the greatness of God. Using a more inclusive vocabulary and an expansive imagination as one engages in Scripture is a regular practice for the women of Iceland. I, for one, am inspired.