Dear Nativity Community,
I write this letter with a mix of emotions—both sadness and excitement. This December 31st will mark my last day as a staff member at Nativity Lutheran Church. After almost a decade of serving this wonderful community, I have accepted a call to be Interim Pastor at All Nations Indian Church in Minneapolis, a community that filled my heart from my first visit. My Indigenous heritage is a fundamental part of who I am, and I look forward to helping them rebuild and embark on a new journey. Because the role begins as a part-time position, this call will also allow me to continue my work as a professor and traveling Indigenous theologian.
Nativity, you have been an integral part of my journey over the past ten years. When I first arrived, I was a single mother with a one-year-old child, navigating a new path. You welcomed us both with open arms and supported me as I began my studies at Luther Seminary. Little did I know then that attending Luther would culminate in two master’s degrees and a PhD! Your encouragement and support helped me become the first Native woman theologian with a Ph.D. in the ELCA and beyond. My son Ciaran has grown up in this nurturing environment, and we both consider you our extended family.
While I’m embarking on a new professional path, this doesn’t mean we are leaving Nativity behind. Ciaran and I will remain members of Nativity, and you will still see us around. I will also continue to curate our amazing Advocacy Library and will participate in the Faith and Neighboring Practices cohort we recently started with our Minneapolis Area Synod.
Nativity, I have witnessed tremendous growth in you, just as I have grown within our community. As I take this next step, I look forward to experiencing Nativity in a new way—sitting with you in worship!
Thank you for your unwavering support and companionship through these years. I eagerly anticipate the next chapter of our journey together.
Dr. Kelly and Ciaran Sherman-Conroy