On Sunday, September 24, 2017, the people of Emanuel overwhelmingly voted to call Rev. Dr. Paula Mehmel as its eighth Pastor since its founding in 1889.
“Pastor Paula” as she is widely known, most recently served as the Senior Interim Pastor at Elim Lutheran Church in Fargo. While most recently based in Casselton, N.D. she is a Minnesota native. Pastor Paula holds an undergraduate degree in English and German from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Pastor Paula is a popular speaker, writer, and proud single mother of two sons who both attend Harvard University.
With a passion for serving the last, the lost and the least, Pastor Paula is a committed community member with a special interest in homelessness, refugee resettlement and addressing issues of sexual violence. She goes to Uganda yearly as part of South Sudanese Leadership and Community Development to do trauma healing and other work in the South Sudanese Refugee Camp. Pastor Paula has also been deeply involved in homelessness issues and has served as president of Churches United for the Homeless for three years.
Pastor Paula’s calling is to make connections; between the timeless Word of God and our everyday lives, between the gifts God bestowed on us and the needs in our community and our world, and between people so that we might see all people, including ourselves, as precious and beautiful, but broken, children of God who have been redeemed by God’s grace and in order to continually extend our vision of who are neighbors are.
She relishes the opportunity to share her thoughts on anything from social justice to theology to random musings about her latest travel adventures.