Greetings to the faithful who share in the ministry of Covenant Christian Church!
I write today to introduce myself to you and to share a thought or two regarding my desire to serve alongside you in your ongoing witness in the love of God made known to us in Jesus Christ. My name is Loren Strait. I am an Iowa native, a graduate of Des Moines Roosevelt, a convert to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) since my early twenties, a graduate of Disciple institutions: Culver-Stockton College where I received my BA in Religion and Philosophy, and Christian Theological Seminary where I received my M. Div. I completed a compact unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. I was ordained at College Avenue Christian Church and have served congregations in the Kansas and Upper Midwest regions. Most honorably, I am the spouse of Des Moines Public School’s greatest middle school art teacher: Mary Grandanette Strait. Between us we have five adult children ranging in ages from twenty-nine to twenty, and two grandchildren ages four and one. At the time of this writing the one year old lives with Mary and me as his primary caregivers. We are also the caretakers of three dogs, two of which are breeds that have been named after mountains: the Bernese Alps and the Pyrenees, and rightly so. A mistake I hope never to repeat. I am a lover of books, a drinker of coffee, a fan of laughter, and a treasurer of meaningful relationships and conversations.
Perhaps some of you remember Mary and me from the not too distant past when we worshiped with you. It was not the first time we met. I worked alongside you with Rev. Burkhardt when Covenant and Glen Echo shared in Vacation Bible School. I worshiped with you in the installation of Rev. Witmer. In those experiences I have seen your love for one another, your desire to make faith relevant and purposeful within the community, and your determination to explore and venture into new expressions of being church. In conversation with your Search Committee I heard deep commitment to things worth holding on to: welcoming and sustaining grace for all who gather and share in this holy journey, vibrant faith that brings honest and authentic conversations, freedom for all to find a path that brings faith into action, and a spirit that is not defined by the numbers but by the possibilities to which God is calling. How is this not compelling? As pastor I would be honored, challenged and enlivened to be a part of such a ministry. I will strive to bring the authenticity of my faith to walk alongside the authenticity of yours in the hopes of benefiting one another in whatever it is God is calling us to be and become in this new and unpredictable time. I will strive to listen to you deeply, to build upon your strengths, and to help fill in those areas that may need a little work. I will uphold the image of God in all with the dignity and integrity each deserves within the many experiences of life and faith. The world needs Covenant Christian Church and it would be an honor to serve, care, dream and become alongside you.
Grace and Peace,