Emily Shipman: Ordination To Word & Sacrament


Remember Emily?

She came and spent one wonderful year with us between mid-2012 to mid-2013 as our pastoral intern. We were sad to bid her farewell, but she had to return back to Wartburg Seminary to complete her studies.


Well, we’re glad to note that she and her husband Zachariah have just recently completed their Master of Divinity studies and Emily has now been ordained as a minister of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America on 15 June 2014 at her home congregation of Hope Lutheran Church, in Walker, Minnesota.

Both Emily and Zachariah have been called to serve the Northwest United Lutheran Parish in Western North Dakota, which has has congregations in Alamo, Ambrose, Crosby, Fortuna, and Wildrose. Emily and Zach look forward to their installation on 13 July 2014 at Crosby, North Dakota, which will also be Zach’s ordination on that same day. They are incredibly excited to serve there as pastors!

From Emily:

Thank you for joining with me in prayer at this special time, and for the role you played in walking with me in my faith journey.  The witness of others to the love and grace of God is truly important in nurturing the fellowship of believers. Thank you for all you do!

We continue to pray for Emily and Zach – seeking God’s abundant blessings on them and their ministry in this next chapter of their lives.


What A Year It’s Been! – Emily’s Farewell


Today, we bid Emily farewell after a wonderful year with us as BLC’s pastoral intern. 😦

She preached a wonderful sermon from her heart – her final one with us, before she returns to the US (at least until the Lord next brings her our way). Based on this week’s Lectionary Gospel lesson, centered on The Lord’s Prayer, she reflects on relationships and trust as the key takeaways from her experiences with us and the basis of the prayer Jesus taught.

Emily’s farewell sermon to BLC (long video)

We then shared a short video for her…

Our farewell video for Emily
(Music: Jauh Tapi Ikhlas, by Zainal Abidin)

…and presented her with two tokens: 1) A Malaysian recipes book and 2) a handmade woven bag (by Bess Anne!). Then we prayed for her together.

Emily's BagEmily’s Bag by Bess Anne – representing many of her experiences here with us

And now, we release her back to the ELCA and into God’s calling for her, wherever that may take her and Zach, covered with our thoughts, prayers and fond memories. 

Thanks for everything Emily! We’ll see you again, soon and Lord willing. And stay in touch – you’ll always have a room here with us in The Father’s House!!!

An Eventful Sunday – Celebrating Moms and Dads, and Welcoming Our New BLC Council 2013-2015!

We had a pretty eventful day today: celebrating our BLC moms and dads (biological, adoptive, spiritual, metaphorical, etc.) with our BLC Parents Day 2013 Celebrations as well as welcoming our new BLC Council with an installation service.

The day started early for some in what is now lovingly known as “Emily‘s Sweatshop” (courtesy of Jason!). We had to roll stacks and stacks of newspapers into balls… which were then used for games later in the afternoon. Unfortunately for us, the air-conditioning in the room failed… (and yes, Emily got little kids to work too!).


Emily even found the time to have a little fun with one of her underaged “volunteers”! 😛

Mei Li set up a pretty neat altar decoration…


…and Aaron even came decked out in the latest fatherly fashion!


Since it was Father’s Day today, Rev. Thomas Low preached a moving sermon based on the life-example of Joseph, the father of Jesus.


Then, we installed the new church Council for the 2013-2015 term!

Of course, any celebration would be remiss without the obligatory fellowship meal – i.e. lots and lots of #omnomnom!!!


And, then, lots of laughter with games by Emily (the sweatshop did not labor in vain!)!



And finally, family photos for everyone!


A huge word of thanks to Jamie for organizing everything!


Sermon: Being Called & Equipped As God’s Hands & Feet (Mission Sunday)


In celebration of Missions Sunday, this morning Emily talked about being “Called and Equipped to be God’s hands and feet”, based on this week’s lectionary readings.

Participating in God’s mission of healing and reconciliation for the world is something we are all called to in many and various ways. At times the call is small and quiet, an inkling or a pull, and at other times it is blaring loud and clear. Though obstacles arise and things try to pull us away, God can carry us through whatever we have been called to.

As the widow of Zarapheth was commanded to provide food for Elijah, and though she was nearly out of food – the jar of meal did not run empty nor the jug of oil run dry, for as long as it was needed. God provided for their needs.

When God calls us, God equips us and provides for us to carry out God’s mission. The passage from Luke tells us what this mission is, as Jesus has compassion for the widow who has lost her only son. This compassion for someone who represents the epitome of great suffering in first century Palestine, reminds and reveals to us the great compassion God has for us.

This is what we are called to live in and to live out: Living in Christ’s compassion, we live out God’s compassion for the world.

This is God’s mission, which we are called and equipped to participate in.

No pastoral interns were harmed in the making of this photo

Pastor Emily dropped by the Giving Tree LiFE Group the other day and found something to keep herself entertained with. 🙂EmilySwinging

We have died through Christ and been given new life, how will we respond? – Emily Shipman

This morning, Emily kicked off her sermon with a fresh illustration.

Well, fresh as in… an apple, which represents our lives. She then got Joanna to take bites out of the apple, representing the concerns of our lives. Emily then shared with us how, similarly, instead of bringing our selves as first fruits for offering to God, we bring God what’s left because we succumb to the concerns of our lives.


(No pressure, Joanna, just all of us watching you eat an apple awkwardly!)

She then continued from the Gospel reading of the day, John 12:1-11.

In the gospel reading today, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with costly perfume.  It is an act of sacrifice, intimacy, acknowledgment of Christ’s kingship, worship, service, and witness.  It is done out of gratitude for what Christ has done, raising her brother Lazarus, and also foretells Jesus’ upcoming death.

As we have died through Christ and been given new life, we are left with a question: What will we do in response?