Pastor Rebekah Swanson
I come to First Lutheran as a graduate of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley and as the former intern pastor at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church at Garden Grove, California. I am a lifelong Lutheran with a passion for hospitality and social justice. However, parish ministry has not been my only work in this world. Before becoming ordained, I owned a small textile and aromatherapy business in Bellingham, Washington. I have served on several community boards for the Bellingham Farmer’s Market and the Fairhaven College Human Rights Film Festival. I worked in the not-for-profit sector dealing specifically with issues of food and housing insecurity. I have also worked in retail management and as a general contractor. All of these skills that I managed to gain over the years seem to fit quite well with the role of parish pastor.
My passion for ministry is rooted in radical hospitality and is modelled on the One who showed us best by challenging social and religious norms which oppress and marginalize communities on the fringe. God’s love is for all. It is the Lutheran expression of faith which is so firmly planted in God’s grace that allows us to function in this world, as simultaneously saint and sinner, for the sake of the Gospel.
God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars – Martin Luther