Melissa Renner

Faith Community: St. John the Evangelist (Elkhart)

Hometown: Although I was born in Lima, Ohio, I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky - which I call my hometown.

Who does your immediate family consist of?: My husband Chris and I live as empty-nesters with our ridiculously cute little dog, Rosie.  Our adult children are Nick, Paul, and Emily; they all live in Fort Wayne.  Emily is engaged to Wade, whom she will marry in the fall.  And together, with God's help, they created our first grandchild, Graham.

In what ministries do you participate?: I have attended the Racial Reconciliation facilitator training and will begin activities in that area soon. I am very interested in the church's Creation Care initiative, so Deacon Anne Wietstock and I have planned a Creation Prayer Walk (i.e., Morning Prayer, as we walk) at Potato Creek State Park in May, and I hope to plan others.  I am thinking about some literacy-related activities, connected to ministries at St. John's. I'll be serving at Camp New Happenings this summer. Finally, as a new deacon in God's holy catholic church (God willing, April 27, 2019), I will be assisting at the Lord's table, proclaiming the Gospel, praying for the needs of the church and the world, and prayerfully supporting St. John's ministries

Who is your greatest inspiration?: My mother - she taught me to love God, classical music, cooking, and nature.  She was gentle, wise, and classy.

What’s God been teaching you recently?: Humility! And that ain't easy for an ENFP on the Myers-Briggs - but it's a must for a Christian.

What was your first job?: At 16, I got my first job as a shelver in the public library.  I never left: I've been working for 36 years in public libraries!

What’s your favorite TV series?: Call the Midwife, a BBC drama about an Anglican convent in the London East End, where the nuns and lay women work as midwives to the poorest neighbors in the 1960s.  It's touching, funny, and though-provoking.

What are your hobbies?: Hiking - because God gave us this wonderful place to explore, enjoy, and protect. Biking - because doing those three things is really fun on a bicycle. Cooking - I've always enjoyed trying new things; I feel blessed to understand how to put foods together to make a tasty meal.  I'm hoping to share this love of cooking with people at the St. John's Food Pantry some day.  Healthy, yummy food doesn't have to be expensive.