The Rev. Leslie D. Scanlon
Pastor, July 8, 2012 – July 31, 2015
I am a 20-something, “cradle” Lutheran from Virginia. I was born in Monterey, CA but raised in the Tidewater Region of Virginia. My dad, a retired Navy commander, lives in my childhood home in Virginia Beach. My mom and stepdad, high school teachers, live at the family farm in Illinois. I have an older brother who is an electrical engineer and currently lives in Norfolk, VA. My hobbies include gardening, reading, knitting/crocheting/ sewing, enjoying the outdoors, cooking/ grilling/baking, watching way too much TV, and puns!
I studied Chemistry at the College of William & Mary with the intention of attending medical school after graduation to become a pediatrician. However, during my first year of college it became clear to me that medicine was not the right path for me. I considered a couple of other career paths, but did not feel pulled to anything in particular. It was not until that point that I began to hear language about discerning a call from God. It was hard for me to throw out my life plan, but once I was able to give up control and listen to God’s guidance, I quickly realized that ordained ministry is where my gifts and passions intersect. My work as a summer camp counselor at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp in Fort Valley, the Lutheran Student Association at W&M, Project Connect, and with the youth and young adult ministries of the Virginia Synod aided my discernment process and led me to seminary and the ministry of Word and Sacrament.
I entered the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in the fall of 2008. As part of the Clinical Pastoral Education Program, I served as a chaplain intern at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the summer of 2009. My second year field education placement was at Mediator Lutheran Church, a small African American congregation in an impoverished neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia. In 2010-2011, I completed my internship at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Dublin, OH with the Rev. John Morris serving as my supervisor.
My many positive experiences of youth & young adult ministry programs, outdoor ministry, and campus ministry led me to where I am today. This is why those things are of such importance to me and will always be part of my ministry in the future. The church includes all of God’s children, not just those who can drive and have a paycheck.
I am also passionate about good stewardship. I have seen it explained so poorly that I always strive to make my modeling and teaching about stewardship as encompassing as possible. Stewardship involves how we care for and use all the gifts we have been given by God (time, talents, treasures, assets, relationships, creation, etc).
During seminary I had the privilege of traveling twice to the Middle East. It is through these trips that my passion for peace and justice has blossomed. I always believed that we were called as Christians to work for equality in the world, but my experiences with the people of those lands have provided me with a new context to do so with passion.
I also have a passion for liturgy (worship & music). In my personal preferences, I tend to lean in the direction of so called “traditional” worship, but I also appreciate more “campy” worship when the context calls for it. Ultimately, our main focus must be preaching the good news of Jesus Christ in an accessible manner.
I am not your “stereotypical Christian.” On top of being young, single, and a woman, which is weird enough for a pastor, I am liberal, pro-choice, open/affirming, environmentally conscience, and a scientist!