“I’m a Lutheran” is a monthly profile featuring ELCA members around the world. The profiles showcase ELCA members in all their diversity, connecting one another through individual faith stories as Lutherans. Sentence prompts are provided to each person featured. If you’d like to nominate someone for “I’m a Lutheran,” email megan.brandsrud@elca.org.

Congregation: Peace Lutheran Church, Waldorf, Md.
Occupation: Flutist/instrumental music teacher

I found my faith when I was a teenager—sometimes through personal struggles, other times through providing music for various worship services in my community.

An issue I’m fighting for is helping myself and others seek points of convergence, discard negative stereotypes, and promote patient and healing dialogue aimed at compassionate social interaction and improved racial understanding.

My favorite Bible story is Mary and Martha because it reminds me to seek Jesus first.

I believe that listening is the key to understanding.

I pray each morning (hopefully before I encounter other humans) for discernment and compassion—and courage.

As a teacher, I want to bring music-making into the lives of my students, empowering them to become lifelong learners of their instrumental craft.

Performing music during worship is an extension of prayer for me. I want my music and my students’ music to enhance the spiritual liaison between God and worshipers.

I struggle with the unrelenting persistence of racist thought and conduct.

Serving on the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod Council fortified my commitment to nurturing zeal and gusto in sharing the gospel, fulfilling the synod’s mission regionally and globally.

People are surprised that I taught in a Japanese school for six years.

Traveling and living abroad has taught me the value of seeking out a faith community as the spiritual “soil,” expediting the rooting for me and for my family, enabling us to grow wherever we were planted. Additionally, I learned that by sharing food, drink and language with those in my host country, most perceived cultural differences can be transcended or, at the very least, explored, appreciated and respected.

For me, music is uplifting, therapeutic and essential.

If I could change anything, I would make it possible to provide sufficient housing and food
for everyone, everywhere.

I’m a Lutheran because of the enduring message of grace woven into every aspect of our faith.

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