Bethlehem Lutheran adds second pastor

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 | 12:01 AM


Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church is hosting an installation service for the Rev. Ellen Lundie, who is accepting a newly created associate minister position, at 3 p.m. Oct. 6. at the church.

“Our congregation decided to call a second pastor in the hopes of enriching our Christian education offerings, expanding our ministry to youth and young families and enhancing our care of both members of the congregation and community. As our congregation has grown, we wanted to be faithful in our attempt to harness the enthusiasm and energy of our members,” senior pastor Rev. Daniel Smail said.

Lundie, 30, of Lawrenceville, joins Bethlehem Lutheran from New Castle-based Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where she served for three years.

A highlight during her Good Shepherd tenure was taking a small youth group to the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston — it was the first time students attending the church participated in the triennial convention.

Lundie inquired about the Bethlehem job after viewing a photo on the church’s website “bursting with all of these children” during children’s time at an Easter service.

“It was definitely that sense of (it being) a vibrant place, where there’s a lot going on and there are people looking for faith in their daily life, being a disciple, and that sense of life and vibrancy drew me to Bethlehem.”

Lundie plans to use social media and YouTube “to keep a lot of the positive energy going at Bethlehem.”

Additionally, she wants to add drop-in conversation-based programming in the church’s narthex for people who drive children to and from Sunday School or arrive early for church.

She also plans to focus on youth programming.

“Finding time for kids to just be engaged and get to know their faith a little better is important. Even though they finished their confirmation training in eighth grade, letting them know that faith is a lifelong event and that through our youth programming and that confirmation pipeline, that we can keep them engaged in church and in their journey with their faith.”

A Norwin High School graduate, Lundie hails from North Huntingdon. She earned a bachelor’s in religion from Springfield, Ohio-based Wittenberg University and her master of divinity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2016.

Her early experiences attending St. John’s Lutheran’s Church in North Versailles inspired her career.

“I had always felt called to ministry from a young age and had a lot of good experiences at St. John’s, being raised up as a leader, helping out with services, leading Vacation Bible School. I continued to do that through college through different clubs, like Lutheran Student Movement and the chapel association on campus, and I just continued to have that call affirmed and started seminary in 2012,” she said.

“Pastor Ellen is an energetic, creative, and faithful leader that brings innumerable gifts to our community of faith that complement our ministry goals. We are so excited to have her as a leader in our congregation. I am sincerely grateful for the partnership that we share,” Smail said.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church is located at 1719 Mount Royal Blvd., Glenshaw.