Mikayla Sauerbrey, a candidate for ordination in her final semester of the Master of Divinity program at Moravian Theological Seminary, has always known that she was called to vocational ministry. However, she grew up in Christian communities that did not ordain women, which raised questions for her about how she could serve in spaces that would not ordain her or any woman who was called to be a pastor. In hopes of working through some of these questions, she moved to the West Coast to attend an interdenominational seminary. During this time, she stayed connected with the Moravians she had met in college and she felt God leading her towards the Moravian Church. She has grown to love the Moravian understanding of the Essentials, Ministerials, and Incidentals as a theological framework for faith and practice, as well as our commitment to inclusivity and racial justice work.
Looking ahead to ordained ministry, Mikayla is excited about the opportunity for the Church to grow into whatever new season awaits us. “The entirety of the Christian Church is in a season of transition and change, and that can seem incredibly daunting, but it is also exciting. I hope to be a pastor who can partner with congregations to foster an environment where people who doubt, who question, who reluctantly still believe, or who are tenaciously faithful can gather together and embrace being the hands and feet of Jesus in the world around us.”
Since making the decision to pursue serving with the Moravian Church, she has grown to love the Moravian community and describes her classmates and professors at MTS, fellow pastors, parishioners, and district and provincial leaders as her biggest source of support along her journey toward ordination. For those considering a similar path, Mikayla advises, “Find your people and put in the effort to maintain those relationships. Even if there is physical distance, even if your new career path and theirs are radically different. It is so important to surround yourself with people who truly know you, who won’t see you as their pastor or even as a colleague in ministry.” The decision to pursue ordained ministry is significant and should not be made in solitude.
We are grateful that Mikayla has chosen to share her many gifts with the Moravian Church. She is currently working as a student pastor with Rev. Brian Dixon at Emmaus Moravian Church in Pennsylvania. We look forward to continuing to walk with Mikayla and witness, support, and celebrate her leadership.