I was the Director of Music at a large Lutheran church just south of Baltimore. Getting there had been quite a journey in itself. From rock star ambitions (I play guitar, loudly when possible, and have a Bachelor of Music in composition) to a sense of calling to write music for the Church (writing and performing worship music) to a call to serve a local church, God had been leading me in unexpected directions for the last several years. Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised about this latest development, but I was. My wife Jennelle was not. "It's about time," she said when I told her. Jennelle is the best. We've been married for 15 years now and I'm pretty useless without her.
I started asking friends what they thought. "Oh, yeah, we've talked about how you should be a pastor," was a common refrain. And, strangest of all, it felt right to me too, in a deep way that I couldn't quite describe. When we moved from Baltimore to Durham, North Carolina so I could start my M.Div. program at Duke Divinity School, we had one daughter, Kyrie (pronounced "KEER-ee-ay"). She is now five years old, and has been joined by a little brother, Soren (2) and a sister, Alethea ("uh-LAY-thee-uh", born on December 23, 2017). Our years at seminary were often amazing and too frequently terrible. We suffered through some hard times, but also saw God provide for us in amazing ways.
God has continued to stir our hearts for the Church and guide us through each step of the ordination process. I am currently working on a Master of Theology degree at Luther Seminary, studying congregational mission and leadership, and feel a call into mission development—a call that became clear to my wife and I almost as soon as we started talking about pastoral ministry.
That about brings us up to date! We are thrilled to be joining you all at Messiah for the next year, and eager to see the ways God is at work in Vancouver. Jennelle and I grew up in Minnesota, then lived in Baltimore for 8 years, then North Carolina, then a year back in MN, and now we finally get to experience the Pacific Northwest! I look forward to getting to know you all. If you're ever in the mood for a chat about beer brewing, comic books, prog-rock, or whatever else sets your heart on fire, you'll find a willing listener here.
Peace, Joel Hinck