I (Elizabeth Rawlings) am campus pastor for Lutheran Student Ministry at the University of Washington for the 2013-2014 school year, and mission developer (with 10ish years of ministry experience (5 in a congregation). I don’t fit in the church. I never really have. I like to push boundaries and hang out on the margins — this can be difficult when trying to work within a denominational structure. In conversation with someone about how I can work within the system and still be me, I was told to keep my feet rooted in the box with my arms stretched out to the world. I love this image.
I am not alone. There are many of us trying to figure out how to be Christians and denominational church leaders in the new millenium — and what that even means to begin with. This is my space to play with ideas as I read about, talk with others about and experience new ways of doing church and Christianity and as I get chaffed by old ways that are hindering us and new ways that don’t help much either. I’d love it if you would join me in working it all out.
A few people have asked me what the name of the blog is all about. It comes from a conversation I had about how I have a really hard time staying inside of the box, but the ELCA candidacy process likes inside the box, to a degree. A wise person told me, “Why don’t you think of it as having your feet rooted in the box, but your arms stretched out to the world?” That has really helped me through the process. Also, I really like the roller coaster image the phrase carries. After all, that’s what ministry and life are like, right?