As I pulled into the parking lot at Capitol Hill Lutheran Church, I was anxious about what the day might bring. I had recently graduated from Wartburg Theological Seminary and would be interviewing for my first call. Nerves were the first thing on my mind that day. However, as I approached the church, the sign out front greeted me. “Welcome!” is what it said.
On Aug. 14 I began my first call among the people of Capitol Hill Lutheran. With open hearts and hands they welcomed me into their congregation. Welcoming is certainly a word that is present at CHLC. I have found that it is not something that is simply proclaimed but it is actively lived.
I would actually say that this atmosphere of “welcoming” is one of the reasons I felt so called to CHLC. There happen to be 23 languages spoken among our congregation members who come from five different continents. What excites me the most about this is the way it permeates the activities the church participates in.
CHLC has a vibrant clothing closet that is open twice a week which serves members of the community who have come to Des Moines from all over the world. We also support the local DMARC Food Pantry located on Mulberry Street. Throughout the summer we host concerts in our sanctuary, open to the public, with music provided by various artists.
Globally, CHLC has partnered with friends in South Sudan to support ministries with Bibles, a well project, land mine removal, resettlement assistance, visitation to refugee camps and roofs for homes. We have a very active group of quilters that prepares dozens of quilts each year as well as school kits, sewing kits, baby care kits and personal care items that are shipped around the world with Lutheran World Relief.
Our students also participate in the Meals from the Heartland student challenge, packaging meals to be sent around the world.
As I begin my first call here at CHLC, I look forward to meeting you and know that CHLC will welcome you into the many ministries happening inside and outside our doors.
Pastor Minna Quint comes to Capitol Hill Lutheran Church from Wartburg Theological Seminary. Over the last four years she has spent months working in Haiti, volunteering at Pine Ridge Reservation and completing her chaplaincy at the third largest hospital in the United States.