My name is Luis Moreno, I am a student at California State University Dominguez Hills. I will be interning at Immanuel Presbyterian Church for the next academic school year as a Counselor and Group Facilitator. My background includes working with diverse communities in Los Angeles, Orange County and Queretaro Mexico. I have experience supervising after-school programs, youth and adult group facilitator, community outreach, one on one peer counseling, and organizing community education programs. I am very excited to be working with the families and community of Immanuel Presbyterian Church and the Healing Center through the many programs offered.
Mi nombre es Luis Moreno, soy estudiante en la Universidad de Dominguez Hills. Realizare mis practicas profesionales en la iglesia Immanuel Prebyterian durante el siguiente año escolar, como consejero y facilitator de grupos. En mi experiencia laboral he trabajado en diferentes comunidades en los angeles, orange, y Querétaro México. Donde he realizado funciones de supervisor de programas extracurriculares, facilitador de grupo para jovenes y adultos, reclutamiento y selección de participantes, consejero, diseñador programas educativos para la comunidad. Estoy muy entusiasmado en poder trabajar con las familias y comunidad de Immanuel Presbyterian Church y el Healing Center atraves de los programas ofrecidos.
Congrats to Intern Virgie Pickering! She advanced to candidacy at Tuesday’s presbytery meeting. Immanuel was well represented – Elder David Mass hosted on behalf of SFTS, Elders William Baxa and Brian Symonds served as Immanuel’s commissioners, members Maria Rivas and Francisco Perez attended, along with Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder and Rev. Catherine Hughes.
¡Felicitaciones a la interna Virgie Pickering! Fue avanzada a candidatura durante la última reunión del presbiterio. Immanuel fue bien representada – Anciano David Mass hospedado de parte del SFTS, Ancianos William Baxa y Brian Symonds sirvieron como los comisarios de Immanuel, Maria Rivas y Francisco Perez, miembros asistieron, junto con la Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder y la Rev. Catherine Hughes.
Hi! I’m Virgie and here’s some info about me:
I grew up near L.A. City College, where I almost finished an A.A. (but did not want to take PE). I transferred to Whitworth University in Spokane, WA (where I had to take PE anyway) and graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in Theology. After college, I totaled my car on the freeway, took a job placating irate customers at a call center, got married, moved to Boston, worked at a group home for psychologically traumatized children, and then in 2008 moved back to L.A. to begin the M.Div. program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Some random factoids: my hobbies include tree identification, painting, and creative writing (fiction, poetry, blogging). My husband (Brandon) is a credit counselor (feel free to approach him if you or someone you know has credit problems). My Spanish skills are unfortunately limited, but I would be delighted if you help me practice! I look forward to being part of the Immanuel community!
(P.S. you can check out my blog at www.earthenwarevessel.blogspot.com)
+ + + + +
Crecí cerca del L.A. City College, donde casi termine un A.A. (pero no casi tomar Educación Física). Transferí a la Universidad Whitworth en Spokane, WA (donde de todos modos tuve que tomar Educación Física) y gradué en 2005 con un B.A. en Teología. Después del colegio, destruí mi carro en la autopista, tome un trabajo aplacando clientes irados en un centro de llamadas, me case, me traslade a Boston, trabajando en una institución de niños/as traumados psicológicamente, y después en 2008 me traslade a L.A. para comenzar el programa de M. Div. en el Seminario Teológico Fuller en Pasadena. Algunos anecdóticos aleatorio: mis pasatiempos incluyen la identificación de arboles, pintura, y escritura creativa (ficción, poesía, bloguear). Mi esposo (Brandon) es un consejero de crédito (no dudes en comunicarte con él si tu otros tienen problemas de crédito.) ¡Lamentablemente mis habilidades lingüísticas en español son limitadas, pero estaré encantado si me ayudaran a practicar! ¡Espero ser parte de la comunidad de Immanuel!
(P.D. puede investigar mi blog al www.earthenwarevessel.blogspot.com)
Matthias Peterson-Brandt grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and attended a Spanish immersion elementary and middle school. He attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he studied Spanish and English. While in college, he was a chaplain’s assistant and began to feel a call to ministry. He spent a year as an Americorps volunteer in Chicago working with a homeless agency. Matthias has completed his first two years of seminary at San Francisco Theological Seminary in the Bay Area, and is looking forward to ministering with Immanuel.
+ + + + +
Matthias Peterson-Brandt fue criado en Kansas City, Missouri y asistió una escuela primaria y secundaria de inmersión español. Asistió el Colegio Coe en Cedar Rapids, Iowa, donde estudio Español y Ingles. Mientras que estaba en el colegio, fue un asistente de un capellán y comenzó a sentir una llamada al ministerio. Paso un año como un voluntario de Americorps en Chicago, trabajando en una agencia para aquellos sin vivienda. Matthias completo sus primeros dos años de seminario en el Seminario Teológico de San Francisco en Bay Area, y esta esperando sirviendo en Immanuel.
Whew! My internship at Immanuel went so fast! During my time with you I have grown to love your congregation; all of the lessons I have learned from you have been invaluable and precious. Let me recount some of these lessons to you.
One of these important lessons I learned while preparing for the Easter Breakfast Extravaganza. On Saturday night, prior to Easter Sunday I was in search of the implements that we would need for Easter Breakfast. I repeatedly asked Francisco if he knew where to find the “jarros.” He brought me every “vase” that he could find. Finally my husband heard what I was saying and corrected me: I think you are in search of “jarras” he mentioned and Francisco was quickly able to help me locate the “pitchers.” What a dumb mistake but one that I will never forget.
I also learned the difficulty in conducting a “children’s moment” during worship service. I am a teacher by profession and I often teach in a dialogue with my students. This doesn’t work very well however when there is only one child in the congregation who is over 8 years old. Kids who are between the years of 2-7 seem to clam up when they are asked deep theological questions in the front of a sanctuary built for over 5,000 members. What was I thinking? I ended up answering most of my own questions and I think I taught the adults more than I taught the kids.
And finally, the biggest lesson that I learned from you all and my time at Immanuel is one that I voiced in worship a few Sundays ago. Before coming to your congregation, I often got discouraged as I witnessed other churches who “talk big” but never actually do anything to reach out to work on changing reality. A few weeks ago, Elizabeth preached a sermon that ended with the message: it is true that we can’t do everything, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do something. It is true that we won’t make the world a perfect place but we can attempt to make it better. (V. Elizondo) And this is what I see at Immanuel, a group of diverse people who are committed to responding to God’s call for a more a more just and inclusive community. You have given me hope that this can be done through church involvement. As a seminarian planning to graduate soon and take part in the ministry that God will direct me to, I thank you for this hope. May you continue to spread this hope to your members and your community alike. It makes a big difference!
Saying thank you and farewell to our wonderful interns Megan Handley and Erin Tamayo in the bilingual service today. They will be with us one more Sunday if you didn’t get to hug them today.
I often tell people that although I was born and raised in the apple orchards of Northwestern Indiana, my heart is flavored with the coffee beans of Latin America. As a high school student, while growing up in the Presbyterian Church, I developed a love for Hispanic Language and Culture and after graduation, moved to Arizona to study Spanish. As my parents are both teachers, I recognized my inheritance of strong teaching talents early in my college career. I became a bilingual elementary teacher in inner-city Phoenix for children of immigrant families. I loved this profession but felt that God was continually calling me to vocation in the church. As I began exploring the possibility of attending seminary in Arizona, my husband received a job offer in Pasadena, CA. It was a big change for us to move to the “Golden” State but it was evident that God was calling us to this place and me to seminary at San Francisco Theological Seminary SoCal. I am currently starting my 3rd year and am pursuing a Masters of Divinity Degree. I am excited to be here at Immanuel, learning and serving God in a unique urban multicultural setting.
I am a 3rd-year Master of Divinity student at Fuller Theological Seminary, also pursuing a dual MA in Cross-Cultural Studies. I’ve admired the ministries at Immanuel Presbyterian Church for several years ago, and I’m really looking forward to learning from you all and getting to know everyone! Prior to taking the leap of faith into seminary and pastoral ministry, I worked in Chicago since 2001 for several non-profit policy advocacy and social service organizations, advocating on behalf of low-income families to the Illinois Legislature. I graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Government and concentrations in Women’s Studies and Africana Studies, and I have spent a year in South Africa volunteering with organizations working to improve the status of black women in post-apartheid South Africa. I loved living in Chicago (Go Cubs!), but I have really enjoyed living in the Los Angeles area (especially during the winter!!) and taking advantage of mountains and the ocean.