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Ordained at last

Rosemount United Methodist associate pastor Brooke Heerwald was ordained June 3.

On June 3 Brooke Heerwald Steiner was ordained as a United Methodist pastor. She conducted her first act as an ordained pastor the next day when she performed her brother's marriage ceremony.

Needless to say it was a special weekend for the Rosemount United Methodist's associate pastor.

Heerwald Steiner, who has been with Rosemount United Methodist for the past three years, has worked diligently to become an ordained pastor and over the weekend received the fruits of her labor.

The United Methodist Church works a little differently than others. Pastors don't get ordained right out of seminary. They have to go through a three-year training period that includes, in Steiner's words, "a whole bunch of steps."

Steiner was assigned to Rosemount United Methodist Church after graduating from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill. Since then she has worked toward ordination.

The steps include leadership training, learning about church teachings and serving a church for at least three years. Heerwald Steiner said it's an involved process but prepares pastors for the things they will encounter.

Heerwald Steiner went through the ordination process with 10 other people. She said they all started out wet behind the ears and grew together.

"We each shared our experiences and learned together," said Heerwald Steiner of the group.

Having gone through such an arduous process together Heerwald Steiner said it was fun to reach the finish line together.

"We all received our stoles together. It was pretty special," said Heerwald Steiner.

The ordination, part of the Minnesota United Methodist Church's Annual Conference, took place in St. Cloud.Heerwald Steiner said along with her family, 25 members of the Rosemount United Methodist church made the trip to St. Cloud to see the ceremony.

Heerwald Steiner said she has been ordained with the church at an exciting time as the church leadership hopes to initiate changes through the new generation of pastors in an effort titled "Rethink Church."

"It's really cool," said Heerwald Steiner.

Her church experience growing up in Woodbury led her to the ministry, Steiner said. Her childhood pastor, Doug Nicholas, was one of her two ordination sponsors along with Rosemount United Methodist Pastor Karen Bruins.

"I've had a lot of support growing up and still do," said Steiner.

Heerwald Steiner said as a pastor she hopes to facilitate churches that welcome people from all walks of life. She said she wants to create a place where ideas and thoughts can be openly exchanged.

"I hope to create a space and place where people can come with open minds to worship," said Steiner.

Growing up Heerwald Steiner was part of that type of congregation and wants to make sure others have the opportunity to share a similar experience.

United Methodist pastors are assigned to their jobs meaning they can be transferred at any time. But as for now Heerwald Steiner said she is happy in Rosemount.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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