The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is comprised of millions of members in congregations all over the country. There are also campus ministries. Congregations and other specialized ministry contexts exist within the 65 synods of the ELCA. There is also a churchwide expression of the denomination that exists in an office building in Chicago.

That's where I am! Today and tomorrow! I am here for a training about ways to teach healthy boundaries to church leaders. It has been very enlightening, and I'm learning a lot from the instructor and my classmates...they are mostly assistants to the bishop and a bishop and some congregational pastors.

We will take this experience back to our home synods to then help facilitate impactful, engaging boundaries trainings in the future. I feel immensely grateful to be here and to potentially have a role in empowering leaders in southeastern MN to be intentional about their own boundary development...to be healthy, vibrant, rooted leaders.

I had an experience of an abusive relationship several years ago that brought to the forefront the consequences of my inability to articulate boundaries and express my own needs and ask for help. It all added up to a very dangerous reality. I don't blame myself because it is not my fault. But I do recognize that my insecure self with fuzzy boundaries made me an easy target.

Looking back, I recognize how much a healthy sense of where I end and other people begin (a boundary) would have helped me. In all areas of life. I had taken boundaries trainings but I never really internalized the learning, and I didn't recognize how much growth I needed in that area.

My now much healthier boundaries in every area have changed my entire life. The landscape of life appears so full of possibility and not a day goes by that I do not honor and celebrate the growth that came through embracing my boundaries! I am more "me" and "free" than I ever have been. I'm infinitely grateful to my beloved family and dear friends for journeying with me and loving me no matter what. And I'm so very thankful for my partner, Justin, who models secure, grounded love every day.

It feels like a profound gift to be where I am tonight...learning tools to help support and train leaders to be healthy, self-aware, and empowered!

I certainly still have work to do. I still have much to learn and implement. But I feel very capable of teaching and exploring these topics with others, and I welcome those possibilities.


I had thought I hadn't been here before, but in the first level meeting room where we are gathered for this training, I had a flashback. I believe it used to be  Augsburg Fortress instead of a conference room, which was a store for clergy wear and books and paraments. I remembered today that my dear pal Joy and I came here in 2005 to buy our first clerical collars for worship class!

So I guess I was here once to buy an oversized men's clerical collar because that's all that was available at the time. There are many more options now!

Looking forward to more learning tomorrow and then the trek home.

My heart is so full of thanks.

Thank you, God, for all the ways you weave healing and possibility into our lives.

Thank you, God, for this mysterious, beautiful, painful, glorious, ever-surprising, ever-renewing life.

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