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Paynesville Press - September 12, 2001

New intern starts at Nordland Lutheran

By Michael Jacobson

Nordland intern The pastoral country around Nordland Lutheran Church reminds its newest intern, Jennifer Herrmann, of her hometown in northeastern Indiana. Herrmann grew up amid soybean fields and rows of corn in a town slightly smaller than Paynesville that is 30 minutes northwest of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and 45 minutes from both Michigan and Ohio.

Now a third-year seminary student at the Luther School of Theology in Chicago, Herrmann began her year-long internship at Nordland in September. She is the 11th intern at the rural church during Pastor Keith Ainsley's tenure.

Herrmann attended Christian camps while growing up and worked at some during college. She majored in recreational management at Indiana State, with concentrations in camp leadership and outdoor education.

She intended to become the manager at a church camp, but by her senior year, she had already decided to attend seminary and become a pastor.

She took a year off after college and joined the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She spent that year in St. Paul, Minn., working as a case aid worker with vulnerable adults for Lutheran Social Services.

When the time came to choose a placement for her internship, Herrmann opted for a rural community instead of an urban setting. "I never really thought I would choose to come back to a rural town, but it was more appealing," she explained. "I needed to get out of the city. I needed to see green."

She'll get to see plenty of green trees and farm fields at Nordland, which is located a half dozen miles southwest of town. One surprise about the rural setting is that Nordland, with an average Sunday attendance of 150 people, is actually larger than many urban churches in Chicago, Herrmann said.

During her year-long internship, Herrmann will have a chance to preach, lead worship services, make home visits, learn about pastoral care, and teach Sunday school and confirmation. "It's a fun year," she explained. "We get out of school and get to do stuff that we've been studying."

In her free time, Herrmann likes to spend time with her dog, to keep in contact with her seminary colleagues by e-mail, to read, and to cook.

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