On March 1st we will welcome a new staff member to our team, Michaela Eskew. Michaela will fill a new role called Minister of Faith Formation. She will be our lead minister over all the teaching ministries of First Lutheran from birth to adults. This newly created position replaces the associate pastor role that Pastor Bob had filled as interim.
Michaela will be installed on March 1st at all services followed by receptions where members are encouraged to greet her and get to know her. She will then begin teaching the Adult Seminar on March 8th. Michaela will be part time this spring and move to full time in the fall with a new program year. She and her family have already joined us in worship and are getting acclimated to First Lutheran.
Michaela is married to Will and they have one son, Lincoln, who is 2 years old. The Eskews recently moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to family. Will is a hospice chaplain who just started a new position in the Springs. They are expecting their second child, a girl, in May.
Michaela has two master’s degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. She has a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Christian Education. She is currently finishing up her PHD from Graduate Theological Union with a concentration in Religion and Arts. She plans to defend her dissertation on Van Gogh and Christianity this summer. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from St. Olaf College.
She has served two churches as Children and youth minister, most recently serving Christ Episcopal Church in Alameda, California for four years. She has a reputation for being a fantastic teacher, very organized and excels at equipping volunteers for ministry. One of her references shared that even though she was moving to Colorado Springs she had left behind detailed instructions and plans for the church she was leaving through June of 2020.
Michaela initially applied for our bulletin printing position. Knowing she was moving to Colorado Springs, she was just looking for something while she prepared to have a child and finish her PHD. When I(Pastor Travis) saw her credentials I had to ask about the possibility of her serving in the role that would come available when Pastor Bob finished his interim. I actually conducted my initial interview of her while I was in the hospital with my son back in October. From that interview it felt like the Holy spirit was up to something. Here was someone who almost perfectly fit the job description we had developed last summer.
I approached council with her name and they agreed that God might just be answering our prayers in a way that we couldn’t have predicted. We gathered the call committee to interview her and check her references. As a reminder the call committee consists of Dennis Burklund, Chris Beyer, Molly Ketchell, Allison Kennedy, Walt Aufderheide and Jason Fox. The call committee came away from the interview enthusiastically recommending that we hire her. From there we had Michaela come and interview with some of our staff members; Pastor Carrie, Pastor Bob, Deacon Joan, Eric, Marcia and Shelly. They also were very impressed and recommended that we hire her. So we did.
We are grateful to God for hearing our prayers and answering. I’m excited for Michaela to join our team. God is good!