Who is the Feisty Lutheran?
I am Melinda Gapen, the Feisty Lutheran.
In the spirit of confession and absolution, I confess an abnormal fascination and passion for religion, theology, and Martin Luther.
This passion has led me on a journey that begun before I was a twinkle in my parents’ eye. It begun with the marriage of Peggy and Bill Sharits, my grandma and grandpa. He shared the Lutheran tradition with her and her daughter (Tonya, my mom).
Now, fast-forward approximately two decades. Our family begun to attend Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chandler (Az). Shortly thereafter, I knew that I was destined (perhaps doomed) for ordained professional ministry.
I knew at a young age that I was also destined (doomed) to engage in comparative religion. I had a friend, Kristi, who had one foot in Roman Catholicism and the other in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We had numerous conversations about the similarities and differences between Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Mormons.
I graduated from Arizona State University in December 2008 with a Bachelor’s of Art in [Comparative] Religious Studies.
Then, I graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in May 2013 with my Masters of Divinity.
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. And I currently serve at Gloria Dei Lutheran church in Kelso, Washington.
Additionally, I am daughter, a sister, and a mother to three four-legged, furry children: Lambchop, Highlander, and Valkryie.
(Lambchop remains in Arizona with her grandmother for they are more than slightly attached to one another.)
If you continue to engage this blog, you may learn how these interesting characters, others, and this feisty Lutheran experience religion, theology, and the work of Martin Luther in our world.