Newcomer Portraits/Q and A

Susan Carlson and Family

Your family is fairly new to St. Matthew’s – what were your first impressions of our church? We were first introduced to the Episcopal Church in an unlikely place.  Amongst a dozen reformed churches, near the campus where Arnold taught, there was a small house with a red door.   Behind that door was a gathering of some fabulous people with very open and creative minds, who called themselves the Church of the Savior.   It was there that the words of The Common Book of Prayer watered my soul and lead me into a world of faith bigger than that which I had previously experienced.  So several years later when we relocated to the Twin Cities we were looking for a similar experience.  We visited peoples and places and were happy to find ourselves in the neighborhood of another campus, having exchanges with other creative people, behind another red door.   

Why did you decide to stay? At St Matthews all of us have found connections.  You will see 9 year olds helping with ushering, Jonas reads on Sunday mornings, Arnold is connected with the art commitee and I have found the Story group a great way to engage with stories of faith and practice both within our group, those in the context of history and those happening currently within our world.

You and your husband, Arnold, have 4 children.  Could you introduce them to us? Somehow in that greater story our family of six has come together through travel, adoption and shared and unshared experiences.  Arnold was born in Ethiopia; Valencia, Vladimir and Vanessa in Haiti and Jonas and I in the states.  Arnold and I laugh when we tell people we have no parenting advice but we do have stories, many stories.  

What are your interests or passions? Life has been a little crazy in the last 10 years, as you can likely imagine.  We love it this way.   Grace, balance and learning to love well, seems the gist of our family adventure.  Add some individual passions like long boarding, reading, hiking, travel, faith, art, cooking, bracelet making and anything Playmobile and know that there are moments in the making.