I’m Erin Marth. I’m a farm kid from Northern Iowa (Rudd). I earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, with a French minor, from Iowa State University. As you may have guessed from my undergrad degree, my plan wasn’t originally to work in church ministry! It’s been a journey of faith as I’ve tried my best to follow God’s call.
Soon after earning my degree in Political Science, I felt drawn away from the behind-the-scenes political work I’d planned on. I served as a Young Adult Volunteer (a program of the PC(USA)) in the Philippines, where I served with a local human rights organization that to build relationships with and advocate on behalf of peasant farmers in their region. My time in the Philippines rattled me. I was forced to reconsider who I was, who God is, what community looks like, and what it means to be a person whose existence affects other peoples’ lives.
I returned to the States to confront a lot of reverse culture shock and a question that continues to shape me: What does it look like to be a Christian in a world that is broken and hurting? The Spirit of God has guided me along my search to answer that, and it’s been a winding and wild road. It’s included serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Des Moines and then Postville, Iowa, following that town’s immigration raid and the bankruptcy of their town’s major employer. I’ve worked as a community organizer for South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice in Miami, Florida, a nonprofit that seeks to educate and advocate on behalf of low-income workers. I served with local missional engagement at Christ Presbyterian in Edina, Minnesota. I made the plunge and finally went to seminary, where I focused on Pastoral Care and Counseling. I graduated from Bethel Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 2014. I went through certification to teach Holy Yoga, and have taught for years. I completed five units of Clinical Pastoral Education (basically pastoral ministry boot camp) while serving as a Chaplain Intern at Abbot Northwestern and then a Chaplain Resident at Methodist Hospital, both in the Twin Cities area.
Beyond that list of organizations and places that have impacted me, I’m a lifelong learner who is always taking on new skills to learn. I make my own yogurt in my crockpot (it’s super easy). I recently started taking guitar lessons (so fun, how did I not do this before?) I like farmers’ markets and cultural events and Harry Potter references and travelling to new places.
I love my job as Director of Christian Education because it draws in the many experiences and skills that God has given me over the past and use them to build this community up. I get to work with people of all ages and dream up sustainable ministries that can really make a difference in peoples’ lives. I’m grateful for the ability to work in a position that I feel called to and that I’m so passionate about.