Hello beloved of Trinity Lutheran Church,
I’m Alyssa Kaplan, I am so delighted and honored to be joining you all in ministry as your new pastor and am glad to share a little bit about me and the communities that have formed me as a pastor. I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia and was first nurtured in the faith by the saints at First Lutheran Church–a community that believed in shared leadership and the sacred value of engaging young people in the life of our church communities.
I studied Political Science and Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout college, I spent five summers serving as a counselor at Lutheridge Camp in mountains of Western North Carolina. These summers deepened my love for the outdoors and ignited a passion for ministry with youth. To this day Pisgah National Forrest (outside Asheville, NC) is my favorite place for a long walk in the woods.
After college, I felt called to a time of intentional discernment while I wrestled with questions of where God might be calling me to serve. I participated in the Young Adults in Global Mission program of the ELCA (YAGM). I lived for a year in Tlaxco, Mexico—a small town about three hours east of Mexico City. I worked at a primary school and lived with a loving family. I also traveled to the US/Mexico border for the first time during that year of service, which transformed my sense of our Christian call to justice, reparation, and reconciliation. I have been able to return to the borderlands twice since, as a campus ministry leader and seminarian.
Following my year in Mexico, I moved to NYC for seminary at Union Theological Seminary. Throughout my time in seminary, I was blessed to grow connected to wonderful ministries as a field education student and seminary organizer. I was honored to serve alongside you here at Trinity from 2017-2018, with the Vine Campus Ministry from 2018-2019, and with the New Sanctuary Coalition throughout my three years at Union. Union also holds a particularly special place in my heart because there I met my fiancé, Alyssa Terry.
Since leaving New York we’ve made our home in Baltimore, MD. I’ve had the opportunity to serve as a Mission Developer working to create a bilingual and Spanish-speaking worshipping community within a vibrant urban host congregation. I have had the chance to work with amazing community organizations as local partners, and love building relationships outside the four walls of our church buildings! Our family includes our beloved dog Theo and two cats, Arnie and Lois. We love spending time outdoors, hiking, and camping. Family is incredibly important to us, and we find joy together on the lakes of Minnesota and on the coast of Virginia.
Trinity’s ministry embodies the sacred truth that God’s grace and justice are for all people, with no restrictions. I am so grateful for the chance to grow together in faith, love, and community, grounded in that truth.
Grace and peace,