ASSOCIATE PASTOR TRANSITION
MEET PASTOR CARRIE
I recently graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa and moved back to the Midwest from Houston, TX with my husband Matt (who works in technology for an HR services firm), daughter Ellie (beginning her second year in college) and two feisty French Bulldogs, Frannie and Eleanor. I grew up 40 minutes from Middleton in Spring Green, but some of my earliest memories of church are of St. Luke’s. My grandma, Helen Oostdik, was a life-long member and my mom, Maureen, grew up here and is currently a member of St. Luke’s. Whenever we visited my grandparents, especially on holidays, we came to church with my grandma. Without fail, Easter hymns bring me right back to St. Luke’s with my grandma singing next to me! I graduated from high school and went to Beloit College. Matt and I met in Madison (he was a UW student), got married and bought a house in the small town of Oregon. Because we missed the coffee shops of Madison, we decided to start one. In July of 2001 we opened Firefly Coffeehouse, and within three months learned that our daughter Ellie would be born the following June! After a few years of juggling family and small business we turned the coffeehouse over to new owners and are thrilled that it still thrives today! We had some more adventures in business and entrepreneurship, and then, through an acquisition of Matt’s employer, we had an opportunity to move to Houston and lived there, with a two-year hiatus in Florida, for ten years. During that time, I felt a call to the church which I had left as a young adult to explore other faith traditions. I found myself in a small Lutheran church in Texas and was surprised how much it felt like home. I talked to the pastor who thought the questions I was asking sounded like questions seminary students asked and wondered if seminary might be a good fit for me. I took a class and fell in love – reconnecting with the beautiful tradition and rich gospel theology of the Lutheran church. I was able to work at the church and attend seminary at Wartburg online. This hybrid learning environment of working and going to school grounded me in study and tradition while teaching me to be open to the call of the Spirit and whatever lies around the next bend. During my time in Texas I had the privilege of working as a chaplain intern at CHI St. Luke’s and Texas Children’s Hospitals, serving as Vicar and head of Women’s Ministry and Pastoral Care at Tree of Life (ELCA) Lutheran in Conroe, and working in urban ministry with Kindred Lutheran Church in downtown Houston. My special areas of interest have included women’s ministry, “Ashes to Go” drive through Ash Wednesday ministry, Pub Theology and Interfaith Adventures connecting with those of Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu traditions. I love to read, watch old movies, run and hike, cook and play drums and guitar. With faith in the Holy Spirit, who I trust to do more than I could ever ask for or imagine, I am thrilled to walk this path of discipleship and excited for the journey to come.