Who Am I?

Well, that can be a dangerous and daunting philosophical question.

Simply, I am Melinda Gapen or the “Feisty Lutheran”.

In the spirit of confession and absolution…

I confess that I am a nerd with an abnormal fascination/passion for Religion and Theology.

I confess that I am a nerd with a fascination for the life and writings of Martin Luther.

I confess that although I enjoy engaging thought-provoking information and dialogue, I do not consider myself a writer nor do I have a passion for writing. Thus, the majority of posts will be sermons I have preached. 

The Journey Thus Far…
This journey begun before I was a twinkle in my mama’s eye. It begun with the marriage of Peggy and Bill Sharits, my grandparents. Bill shared the Lutheran tradition with her and her daughter, Tonya (aka “my mama”). 

Now, fast-forward approximately two decades. My grandma, mama, sister, and I begun to attend Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chandler (AZ). Shortly thereafter, I knew that I was doomed (opps: ‘destined‘) for ordained professional ministry.

However, I also knew at a young age that I was doomed (opps again: ‘destined‘) to be a religion nerd. My friend, Kristi, had one foot in Roman Catholicism and the other in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS, Mormon). We had numerous conversations about the similarities and differences between Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Mormons.

I graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe (AZ) {GO Sun Devils!} in December 2008 with a B.A. in Religious Studies.

I graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley (CA) in May 2013 with my Masters of Divinity (M.Div.).

On 8 June 2014, I was ordained into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); it would have been my grandpa Bill’s 95th birthday. I was called to serve at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Kelso, Washington.

In November 2018, I begun a call to serve Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Union City, Indiana.

In March 2021, I returned to Arizona.

I am currently the Spiritual Counselor and Bereavement Coordinator for an In-Home Hospice service.

I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a mother to two four-legged, furry children: Highlander and Valkryie.

I am “one of the boys”, a Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, and a Wild West Woman.

I am a photographer, a crafter, and a baker.