The other day I was loading the kids into the van, and the way that works is the big kids get into their seats in the very back row while I put Elijah in, then I come to other side and sit on the folded down middle seat while I buckle the two of them in the back. I was in the process of doing this and was working on securing Aaron’s Britax when Mercy proclaimed: “Mommy, you are Pastor Erika now.”

While that terminology may have been used at times in Los Angeles it was not frequent or consistent, and someone here in Seattle must have used that title while talking to Mercy about her mom.

“Yes, Mercy, that’s right. I am Pastor Erika here.”

She looked at me with a big smile as if the idea of that made her proud.

“And Mercy,” I added looking intently into her eyes, “you could grow up to be Pastor Mercy someday.”

Her eyes widened and she flew out of her seat and into my arms. “Oh, thank you Mommy.”


  1. She most certainly could!!!! ‘specially as she’s been preaching almost as long as she could talk, eh!

    Your stories always make my day, Erika. Glad they are now coming from the Pacific Northwest.

  2. Thanks, Bill! Writing this one caught me off guard because it brought tears to my eyes.

    You’ll have to look us up next time you are in the area!

  3. Imbi and I are coming out to hang with Dick in early March. Maybe we can find an hour or two to visit. You must know Brad and Roxi Bergfalk, too, right? Maybe we could grab some time late Sunday afternoon, if at all possible. We arrive Thurs the 5th around 8pm, head out to this thing with Dick, Friday at 10am and are back in Seattle Sunday around 3. We fly back to Toronto Monday @ 8am.

  4. That’s so cute. I had a similar experience. We had just finished the service and I walked back into the sanctuary and found two little girls playing at the pulpit. I asked them, “what’s up?” they responded, “we’re playing pastor!”

    I nearly wept. modeling is powerful.

  5. I grew up in a Missouri-Synod Lutheran church and my mom was a Deaconess in that denomination, working as a hospital chaplain. Which means she had the same seminary training as a pastor but without the position. She also wasn’t able to administer certain sacraments.

    On the one hand my church told me many times in numerous ways that I was a second-class citizen in the kingdom of God. But I also would go with my mom to Deaconess conferences, meeting these amazing women from all over the country who were serving God.

    It is because of those women that I’m still a Christian.

    I think it is great that you are our pastor and I love that your gender seems to be a non-issue. There is a lot of healing in that.

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