Sunday, April 10, 2011

Internship: ALASKA!!

Chugiak Alaska! Did I hear/read that correctly? I sure did!

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I will be serving as an intern at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Chugiak, Alaska! Chugiak is 20 minutes north of downtown Anchorage, AK. It is beautiful so I'm told. Located at the base of the Chugach Mountains. Average daytime summer temperatures range from approximately 55-78°F; average daytime winter tmperatures are about 5-30°F. In the backyard (literally) of my congregation is the beginning of the Chugach State Forest home to moose, Kodiak and Grizzly bear, and Alaskan wolves. 

The congregation has a smaller youth group of around 9, but they partner with nearby churches. Since Alaska does not have an exceedingly dominant denomination Our Redeemer Lutheran Church partners with congregations in neighboring Anchorage including the all Alaskan Lutheran Youth Gathering which draws from LCMS and ELCA congregations around the state. The congregation has many exciting ministries that I have been reading about and heard from phone conversations from their pastor, pastor Steve Heinsen. 

Some of the ministries include fishing ministry which the congregation goes fishing in the inlet surrounded by all the local marine life including whales, sea lions, and walrus. A Northern Lights trip which is an overnight camping opportunity that admires the beauty of the Northern Lights and God's surrounding creation, as well as day to day activities of leading youth group, confirmation, and family ministry. To find out more about my congregation you can visit their website at 

It will be a big climate (and daylight) change for me check it out...
This chart shows the average amount of daylight (in hours) for Anchorage, which is 20 minutes south of Chugiak but my daylight hours will follow this general trend. I am looking forward to the outdoors. Having served as a trip leader for Boundary Waters canoe trips the past two summers I am excited to be in the outdoors near God's splendor and creation. 

Alaska has the third highest percentage of "unchurched" people in the United States, making it a huge mission field and opportunity. I am so excited to be a part of this ministry and I know it will be a journey to mold me into who God has called me to be. I am excited and anxious at the same time. I will be far from my family, friends and fiancĂ©e Adam. Adam and I have knocked off one year of long distance, as he is finishing his DCE internship in Marquette, MI, and now we have one more year. I am confident that we can and will get through anything after two years apart. I appreciate the support from my home congregation, field work church, as well as friends, family, and staff back at Concordia. I hope that through this blog I will be able to keep the countless people I hold dear to me up to speed with my life as an intern.


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