Greetings and Salutations! My name is Sommer Johnson-Loar and I am a first student at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, IA. I am doing my schooling there through distance learning, which means I get to do many practicums in my own area. I am incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to spend January with you all as I navigate through my first interim independent study!
What is a pastoral practicum? Each January, students at Wartburg are required to complete a January interim class. Pastoral Practicum is simply an independent study and shadowing a pastor. This gives me an opportunity to get to see different aspects of being a pastor while also learning in a different ELCA setting. Things I want to focus on while here for the month are:
Pastoral care opportunities with various ages.
Experiment with leadership and teaching.
Opportunities to learn what church ministry outside of the church walls looks like.
Observe and grow in church administration.
Learn more about digital ministry and the various technological platforms used.
If you have made it this far, congratulations. Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, I'll tell you a little about who I am. I am 38 (though I prefer to be called 29) years old and I have a 13 year old son named Logan. We live in Menasha with my mother, whom I care for. December marked my 9th year as her full-time caregiver, and 20th year as her live in annoyance. I also have a rescued Chihuahua named Larry. He is concerned over just about everything.
When I am not attending school, mothering, or caregiving, I am the organist at Peace Lutheran Church in Oshkosh. I've been the organist there for 5 years. I am the former Curator of Music there, as well as secretary. I wore many hats. These days I just fill in, musically, where I can and I also teach the 8th grade confirmation class.
I have a theatre background in the Fox Valley and have performed pretty much everywhere, including the PAC and Weidner Center. If you find me with film credits on IMDB, I will deny that they ever happened. I am a musical theatre lover and love plays as well. RENT and Wicked are two of my absolute favorites.
I am also part of the LGBTQ2S+ community. My pronouns are they/them. I love activism opportunities and do what I can around the community. I have always loved giving back where I can with volunteering. I look forward to having more time to return to some of that volunteer work after graduation!
Most of all, I love working with people. So, I look forward to introducing myself in person one day this month. Until then, stay warm, stay healthy, and be blessed. God Loves You and So Do I! Sommer Johnson-Loar