REJM – Get to Know the Team


Peder Engebretsen,

Tell us about yourself and your journey with Nativity Lutheran Church.

I have lived in St. Anthony Village since October 2003. I began to attend Nativity in 2011 as I recovered from a long illness. My first time at Nativity, I saw in the bulletin this question: “What if there is no Hell?” Duane Addison’s Tuesday Morning group was discussing “Love Wins” by Rob Bell. I found reconnection to my Lutheran faith through this group, Pop Tops, and through worship at Nativity.

Why do you feel the work of the Nativity Racial Equity & Justice Ministry is important? What is your vision/hope for our congregation to make progress in this area?

The Racial Equity & Justice Ministry teamwork is vital. Since inception the ELCA has talked the talk of racial justice; after Philando Castile, it was time for Nativity to walk the walk. It’s been a journey with a long way to go, but Nativity’s lay and clergy are taking the challenge seriously–and REJM is right in the middle of the action.

Please share something that has educated, challenged or inspired you around this work (book, podcast, movie, local activism opportunity, etc.). Why did that resonate with you?

Lenny Duncan’s work “Dear Church” has galvanized feeling, thought, and action not just in me personally but in Nativity as a whole. As we wrestle with this call to action, we cannot ignore what Rev Duncan tells us: Jesus is in all human forms, particularly “the least of these:” homeless, gay, Black, queer, addicted, female, young, poor. How our church embraces and upholds these people reflects it value and relevance.