Interview with Nathalie Schmidt

Interview with Nathalie Schmidt

Interview


This month we interviewed Nathalie. She comes from canton Thurgau and has been with our community since 2018.

What is your favorite food?
Ebly (Wheat Berries) with sweet corn and cherry tomatoes.

What is your favorite animal?
Cats because they are sweet, fluffy, cute, and independent. They tend to make up their own mind, and choose to like you.

What brought you to St. Gallen?
I moved to St. Gallen to attend university where I studied Law and International Law.

How did you learn about All Souls?
A year ago, I was at a show for the St. Gallen Dance Company and met a member of All Souls named Sarah. As Sarah and I talked, we began to discuss religion and she invited me to a service.

What was your first impression of All Souls?
There were so many different types of people coming together, and there was no pressure to be a certain kind of way. Everyone also gave hugs as they greeted one another during the passing of the peace.

What do you like the most about All Souls?
I like that that we are not all the same and that everyone can be themselves and is welcome for how they were.

What is your role in our community?
Apart from being a parishioner, I am an auditor for the All Souls Verein [Association]. It is a big responsibility, and I enjoy helping our community in this way.

This month our theme is “Change”. What is a change that you would like to see in our community?
I would like to see us do more for young people. Sometimes I feel lonely as a Christian because many people that are my age are not Christian. There are also times where people think that it is strange for me to like going to Church, and really enjoy it, as a young person.


Pastor's Desk: Change is upon us

Change is upon us

Pastor's Desk October 2019


Like the colorful change from summer to fall, beautiful things are happening at All Souls, and seeing them has filled my heart with constant wonder and gratitude. We are seeing new faces at services on Sunday afternoon, and we are seeing each other from new perspectives as we grow in friendship throughout the week. And then, we are also celebrating in new places with services in Thurgau and Bible Studies in members’ homes.

Truly, in this season of change we are taking on some amazing new things, but we are also losing a few things like the trees that shed their browning leaves. We are losing:

1. Old Forms Of Leadership

When All Souls began our leadership was more pastor-led, and our charter Elders were an advisory board that gave occasional input. But after becoming a recognized Church, and electing Elders from the congregation, we must move to a form of leadership that is team-based and Council-led. Therefore, our main ministries (Stewardship, Outreach, In-reach, Christian Education, and Gatherings) are now in the charge of specific Elders, and I will focus on the ministries of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care.

2. Old Visions

During our project phase, the vision was making the idea of All Souls into a living reality. That vision has been fulfilled, and we must now embrace a new vision of growth in fellowship and membership. Though the main cause of such growth is always the Holy Spirit, there are things that we can do to help make it happen.

  • We can spend more time together beyond the Sunday services (e.g., hanging out over coffee).
  • We can care for one another beyond the Sunday services (e.g., calls during the week to see how someone is doing).
  • We can get more involved in gatherings and events beyond the Sunday services (e.g., Bible Study).
  • And, most importantly, we can personally invite others to join in our community.

To be honest, the loss of these things gives me a slight sense of fear, for it shows that we are venturing into places that we do not know. This loss also changes the ways we relate to each other as friends and fellow believers, and the ways in which we carry out our roles as Pastor, Elders, and Parishioners. Nevertheless, what we are gaining encourages us to carry on, and I look forward to all the things that lie ahead for All Souls. Of course, we will face more challenges and struggles as a community, but we will also encounter many blessings and the constant presence of our loving Lord.


Pastor's Desk: Grace for the summer

Grace For The Summer

Pastor's Desk July 2019


Dear Freinds,

It has been over half a year since we became an official congregation, and during this time we have seen some amazing things happen. In December we had a wonderful Relaunch and Early Christmas service. In March we had our first Pancake Day and Ashes to Go. In June we had our first service in Thurgau and Rally Day. And last Sunday we celebrated three baptisms as we entered the summer season.

Truly, these past few months All Souls has seen some amazing things, and as I reflect upon them I am reminded of these words from Nadia Bolz-Weber:

God’s grace is a gift that is freely given to us. We don’t earn a thing when it comes to God’s love, and we only try to live in response to the gift. No one is climbing the spiritual ladder. (Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, pg. 49)

Since founding All Souls I have prayed that our Church would rightly respond to the grace of God, and so far we have managed (and are managing) to do just that. Instead of working to “prove ourselves”, we have opened up our hands and received the gift, and in so doing become a place without the pressure to be a “good Christian”. We have become a fellowship where no one climbs the spiritual ladder, and where works for God are done with joy and without the fear of judgement.

This summer I encourage you to press on in receiving the gift, and to daily look for it with open eyes in all that you encounter. May you see God’s grace in the people you will meet and the places you will go. May you see God’s grace in the joys and cares that will come about. May you see God’s grace as you rest and relax from work and school. And may you see God’s grace when this sunny season comes to an end.

Blessings and have a wonderful summer,

-Scotty