ASHTON — The congregation at St. John’s Lutheran Church is pleased to introduce to the Ashton area, Pastor Jessica Bakken.
Bakken, a native or Minnesota assumed her role as the pastor recently, after a lifetime of ministry based influences from her family and friends.
Bakken’s father and step mother are both pastors. Jessica headed off to college with intentions of being a philosophy major, but changed to pursue a degree in youth and family ministry.
“I grew up loving youth group,” said Bakken. “My father was a pastor on the university campus so as I spent summers with him I fell in love with the idea of being a college student. I never knew I could major in “friendship.”
She served as a youth director for six years but never really saw herself as a pastor.
She decided to take some time to discover what she was really meant to do so for seven years she worked at a facility with three adult ladies with special needs.
“It was a hard and joyful job,” Bakken noted. “I was back to being a member of a church and discovered that I truly missed ministry.”
She then enrolled in Luther Seminary and graduated this past December.
Her has found the people of Ashton to be welcoming, generous and lovely.
She lives in the parsonage with her two cats, Solo and Bailey, who howl at times and in the large house it seems to echo loudly.
While she has lived in some communities that are considered small, Ashton is the smallest, but she shared with her friends and family that it will be ok, because “they have good pizza here.”
Her ministry is about building relationships, intergenerationally, encouraging them to share stories with others.
One of her favorite passages in the Bible include 1st Corinthians: Chapter 12, regarding that each of us has our own strength and calling and all together, walking along side of God, we are the whole body of Christ.