I just got the word that I'll be accompanying Lakeview Lutheran Church - an ELCA congregation here in Chicago (just a couple blocks from Wrigley Field) - as an MIC (Ministry In Context) intern next year starting in the fall. This is a part-time internship (the full-time internship happens in my third year of seminary, so, in 2022).
I was able to visit the congregation before the lockdown and was immediately struck by how warm and welcoming they were. This same spirit was embodied by the lead pastor, Liala Beukema (a strong preference of mine was to be mentored by a female pastor), who greeted me and my daughter, Rory (Alex was out of town) before leading an incredible liturgy.
One word of many that comes to mind when I think of this church is… Creative.
My home church (just a few blocks away) is pretty formal (though also creative in a very different way). And I love that. On a scale of Lutheran churches, it lands on the “high church” side. It’s been great these last couple of years to learn the liturgical foundations of this denomination in this more traditional and structured environment.
But it seems that Lakeview Lutheran will offer a creative shift in the way they do things. As you can see from the photo above, the building is a bit newer (instead of the classical early-1900s church building that my home congregation is in). There are chairs instead of pews which means that the layout can be shifted (church ‘in the round’ is something I definitely want to experience). The altar is on the same level as the assembly (maybe a half step up) making the space egalitarian - a very Lutheran theological concept architecturally embodied.
Plus, it’s an all brick interior. Which is fantastic.
And the cross - look at this thing… I don’t know much about that icon of Christ, but I’ve seen it elsewhere and it’s stunning.
I just love how the traditional elements of worship (clerical collars, traditional communion elements, etc.) meet a more contemporary space. It’s traditional but relaxed.
Anyway, I’m really excited about this next chapter. I know this was by divine appointment and I can't wait to grow in discernment alongside this lovely congregation.
I’ll report more when I start in the fall. Until then, I gotta finish off this semester strong and hope that my summer hospital chaplaincy doesn’t get postponed due to the pandemic.
Grace & Godspeed,