The Faith Lutheran Church at 988 Roosevelt Trail in Windham welcomes their new Pastor, Rev. Jane Field. Officially installed as the congregation’s spiritual leader on November 6th, Rev. Field succeeds outgoing pastor, David Thorp who left Windham to begin a ministry training pastors in Bolivia.
The members of the search committee who recommended Rev. Field to the congregation are very pleased that she was called to be their next pastor. “She is a very kind, compassionate and thoughtful person and this comes through in her inspiring sermons,” Sarah Burkhardt, a member of the search committee, stated. “She has a lot of energy and enthusiasm” Burkhardt added, pleased that she fits so well within the personality and principles of the congregation.
“We love her,” Peggy Appelin, congregation member, spoke with delight about their new pastor. “She has become an immediate member of our church family. We have enveloped each other in all aspects of church life from services to lobster bakes, visiting members, cooking for fundraisers and emceeing our cabaret with warmth and humor,” Appelin continued. “Also, Rev. Field knows how to incorporate what is presently happening in the world today into her sermons so it is relatable to our authentic everyday life experiences. And she does so with a compassionate depth that inspires us.”
Initially, Rev. Jane Field did not set out to become a minister or anyone’s spiritual leader. Wanting to serve society through advocacy and politics, Field received her Master’s degree in Public Policy from Princeton University in 1987. During her participation in that program, she realized she was asking questions with a more human perspective that were not easily answered in the mathematics-focused curriculum. As part of her Master’s degree, she interned at a domestic violence agency in Trenton, New Jersey. Wanting to discover more about domestic abuse, she learned there was a class at Princeton Theological Seminary that focused on this very issue. Princeton Theological Seminary, a seminary associated with the Presbyterian Church, is not a part of Princeton University. However, the two institutions had a reciprocal agreement, so she took the class for credit. Here, Rev. Field discovered the more humanistic approach she had been looking for. So, after receiving her degree in Public Policy, she decided to add to her educational endeavors by pursuing a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
After receiving her seminary degree, Field moved to Wilton, Connecticut, to serve first as the associate pastor of a Presbyterian Church, then as a Development Officer and Community Educator at a domestic violence agency in Stamford, Connecticut, before returning to the ministry, serving Presbyterian, Episcopal and Methodist churches in that area. During this time, she became a mother by adopting a beautiful girl from Guatemala.
Fast forward to Faith Lutheran Church in Windham. Rev. Field has deep family roots in Maine and she knew it would eventually become her permanent home. While growing up, her family, who had a house in Sanford, split their time between Michigan where her father worked for General Motors, and Maine. Now, her parents are retired and live in Yarmouth and her daughter is a sophomore at the University of Maine at Orono. In the fall of 2015, Rev. Field moved to Portland and was hired as the executive director of the Maine Council of Churches, where she continues to serve. In July 2016, she accepted the call to serve as the part-time pastor of Faith Lutheran Church.
“I stand in awe of this congregation,” Rev. Field stated in a recent interview. “They know how to be a church. In fact, they are teaching me more than I am teaching them,” Field continued. Her astonishment doesn’t end there. “This congregation knows how to put faith into action. They roll up their sleeves and get things done without help from me. This congregation is a welcoming and happy group that is self-sufficient and independent. In fact, all they need from me is a little spiritual nourishment. I feel very lucky to be a part of this church.”
Rev. Field also expressed how impressed she is with the active involvement and social justice ministry the church is participating in within the community. “We are very active in the Monday Meals, a free community dinner offered by a variety of churches on a weekly basis. There is always someone from the Faith Lutheran Church available every Monday to assist with this program.” Faith Lutheran is also involved in other outreach activities including adopting families in need at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Not only is social justice ministry an important part of Faith Lutheran, but welcoming individuals from all walks of life is essential to their way of being church. This affirming congregation meets every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. During the summer months, an outside chapel that is an entrance to a nature preserve and hiking trail is where they meet, from June to September.
Faith Lutheran is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, a progressive mainline denomination. All are welcome to attend. To learn more or to become involved, contact Rev. Field at 207-892-9158.
David Hansen on the right - Music Director
David Young on the left - guitar player.