Greetings! My name is Erin Coleman Branchaud; I am delighted to be accompanying St. Luke’s as Pastoral Intern for the next year.
Today is only my third day in the office, and already I have a sense of the truly remarkable “place” we’re in at St. Luke’s in this moment:
An interim physical place at a new address, with new eyes ever peering in the windows;
A rapidly changing place, as economic and cultural forces transform Logan Square around us;
A place of possibility, a moment to re-imagine how God is calling us to be and to act;
A holy place of grace, as God meets us here in bread and wine, in water and the Word, in the midst of our gathering.
I also come to this place formed and sent by many places:
Omaha, Nebraska •
I was born and raised in suburban Omaha. My parents are Sheila, Doug, and Jim; my brother is T.J. I was baptized in the Catholic Church, then raised in a United Methodist congregation. In Omaha I learned to play the piano, to pray for snow days, and to love Husker football. My husband Josh grew up in a house 1.5 miles from mine, with his parents Bev and Jay and his sister Stephanie.
Lincoln, Nebraska • I moved to Lincoln to attend college at Nebraska Wesleyan University. In Lincoln I was embraced by the community at the Lutheran Student Center and liberated by the Lutheran witness to the gospel. In Lincoln I struggled and discerned, sang and danced, laughed and wept. Here Josh and I spent our first year of marriage, living in the apartment above the church.
Grand Bourg, Buenos Aires, Argentina •
Our second year of our marriage Josh and I spent in Grand Bourg as volunteers with the Young Adults in Global Mission Program of the ELCA. For a good story, ask us what we love about the IELU, about that time with the roly-polies, or about “la caja.”
Chicago, Illinois •
We moved to Chicago in 2014 with new kittens Von Neumann and Sosa to begin seminary at LSTC. Josh began work as a software developer with a small company in the West Loop. The most blessed part of this place for me has been the people of faith, colleagues, and community organizers who have helped me gain clarity on my call to work for systemic social change. Since moving to Logan Square in May, we have enjoyed singing songs with our roommate Taryn, picnicking with cousins who live nearby, and catching Pokemón.
St. Luke’s of Logan Square •
I look forward with great hope to learning what places have formed you, and what is your vision of the place we are called to become together.