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Hello from Pastoral Intern Elle Dowd

Hello St. Luke’s in Logan Square,

I am so excited to be your intern! I have always been impressed with St. Luke’s courage, creativity, and visible presence in the Logan Square community. St. Luke’s has had a powerful influence on the wider Church as a teaching parish, and I am grateful to have the opportunity beginning this Fall to join in the tradition of people who have been formed by being in deep relationship with you.

Some of my particular ministry interests are in areas of queer biblical interpretation, sex and body positivity, and liberation theology. At St. Luke’s I am excited about the ways that we might work together and explore how these areas might inform and inspire new ways to participate in Christian formation – especially for children, youth, and young adults.  I have also been developing my skills as a community organizer on the southside, and I am eager to get to know more about Logan Square and to learn more from all of your organizing experiences. I was especially enthused about your successful initiative to get a center for more mental health services on the ballot last year, because I believe strongly that the life abundant that Jesus promises us in John 10:10 extends to all areas of health and wholeness – physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and relational.

Most of all, I am excited because St. Luke’s is the sort of place that I believe I can bring my whole self.  I know St. Luke’s welcomes risk-takers and people who think outside the box. I know it is a place where my children feel included and safe, even though our family might be different than the stereotypical nuclear family.  I know that my bisexuality will be considered a gift and not a liability. I know that my identity as a young woman in ministry does not raise questions or concerns for you. Many of us who have felt harmed or excluded by society – especially by the church – know how rare of a quality that is.  It is a beautiful witness of God’s scandalous, ever-widening love that I can bring all of who I am into this space. I hope you will feel safe to be your whole selves with me, too.
Like all communities, I know that St. Luke’s has challenges, and like all relationships, we may struggle at times. But I am so excited to grow in relationship with each one of you, through struggles and joys, and to see the unique ways that the Divine is at work in your lives.  

In Christ,

Elle Dowd

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