The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Grace and peace be with you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Well, I am finally here and what a joy that is! I imagine that it seems as if it has been a long time in the making. Calling a pastor is not a fast process, but hopefully it will all be worth it.
As for me, I am really excited about being here and I am really looking forward to the ministry and mission we will be doing together at Peace in Christ. I’m looking forward to working with you in God’s service to Elizabeth, Elbert County, Colorado, the US, and the world from our outpost on Tabor St.
Before we get off and running, I thought I should introduce myself. I am Alena Lamirato, you can call me Pastor Alena. As you may be able to tell from my last name, I am Italian on my father’s side. The other half is German. My dad grew up in Denver and my mom is a farm girl from the sand hills of Nebraska.
I grew up in north Denver, near 80th and Federal. Pr. Dean and I went to the same High School, Ranum, and his parents live just over a mile from mine. It is a small world!
I have a BA and an MA from the University of Northern Colorado. My BA is Field Biology and my MA is Biology with an emphasis on animal behavior. For my master’s thesis I did research with the polar bears at the Denver Zoo. My goal was to get hired at a zoo, and I was. I got hired by the Dallas Zoo where I worked as a bird keeper and then a monorail driver.
Throughout most of my 20s, I served as the volunteer youth director at my home congregation, Advent in Westminster. I am a cradle Lutheran who never once thought of becoming a pastor. That all changed in 2000 after taking the youth to the ELCA Gathering in St. Lois. As I pondered the trip, I got the call – “you go be the pastor.” It was a shock to say the least. I had just landed a job at the Dallas Zoo and being a pastor was not my will. So I played Jonah and ran to Texas.
After 2 years at the zoo, I decided to heed the call. I returned to Denver where I went through the call process. After being accepted, I went to the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA, and loved every minute of it. On July 26, 2007, I was ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. This July 26 is my ten year anniversary.
The Gospel used at my ordination was from John 21. I’ve included a snippet above. It pretty much sums up my reason for being a pastor. Because I love Jesus, I feed his sheep. That is what I have been called to do, and I love doing it.
My first call was at Alma in Mead, NE. I picked up a second church after 4.5 years, Edensburg in Malmo, NE. After 5.5 years in Nebraska, I received a call to St. Luke’s in Buffalo, WY. I served in Buffalo for 4.5 years. Due to some financial issues at the church, I needed to find a new call and that is when the Holy Spirit sent me to you.
I love leading worship. I am a liturgy geek; I begged to be an acolyte as a kid. I really enjoy teaching and being in conversations about faith. I like to be active and attend as many events as possible, but I can be a little shy, so I will need your help in getting to know everyone and the community.
I am living in Castle Rock, but will be in Elizabeth as much as possible. If you know of any event I should be at, please let me know. I look forward to jumping right in and learning all about you.
Blessings, Pr. Alena
Marlena Antrim - Music Director
Hunger Gammel - Pianist
Christina Ore - Sacristan
Sharon Mohlis - President
Lynn Hellickson - Vice President
Rudy Payne - Secretary
Cathy Hrabik - Treasurer