Jordan Lutheran Church installs new pastor
The Rev. Dody Star Siegfried was installed as the new pastor of Jordan Lutheran Church, Orefield, during a Eucharist and installation service and dinner Nov. 12.
Siegfried, the daughter of Roger Miller of Nazareth, Northampton County.
She told The Press she felt called by God to serve Jordan Lutheran as the senior pastor.
“Throughout the call process our conversations continually became deeper in the ways we could share together to do the ministry that God calls us to do,” she emailed The Press. “I was excited by the rich history filled with outreach ministry to the community such as the food bank.”
Siegfried said the church is focused and supportive of children who come through the doors.
“Jordan has a vibrant music program and is very much alive,” she wrote. “As a visitor recently told me, they were delighted to see the warmth and friendliness of the congregation and indeed they are!”
Siegfried, who was raised in Wilson Borough, Northampton County, and surrounding areas graduated from Freedom High School, Bethlehem.
She was working at her home congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church, Hecktown, Lower Nazareth, as director of volunteers when she decided to become a pastor.
“The late Sister Gunnel Sterner, a Lutheran deaconess, invited me to attend a discernment weekend for ministry at the Lutheran Deaconess Home in Philadelphia,” Siegfried said. “I was pretty much already doing most things in the congregation except for the sacraments.
““It was after that weekend that the call to ordained ministry of word and sacrament was very strong. “
“There are times that God just keeps nudging until a point when you can no longer say “no” to God,” she said. “My bottom line is for people to know God’s love and acceptance.
“Some people have been so oppressed or have no one else, and they need to know the hope given to us through Christ.”
Siegfried graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1998 with a Bachelor in Arts degree in religion, and from Moravian Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 2002, and a Master of Pastoral Counseling degree in 2009.
Siegfried’s first call was to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Williams Township, Easton, from 2002-08.
“I left there to serve for several years as a transitional (interim) pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Mahoning, Lehighton; St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Bethlehem; St. John Lutheran Church, Stroudsburg; Messiah Lutheran Church, Bethlehem,” she stated.
Jordan Lutheran’s new pastor discussed her goals for the church.
“Since we live in a broken world where the mission of Christ is so greatly needed, my goals for Jordan are to strengthen the current ministry areas so that together we can continue to boldly proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ,” Siegfried said.
“Ways to do that would be to expand the Christian Education Program for all ages and in a variety of ways.
“We need to explore the needs of the community and therein lies the goals and future expanded ministries of Jordan.”
Siegfried said at her installation service has taken nine years to arrive.
“Those years were blessed in many ways as well with all the different congregations I served and the people whom I have gotten to know,” she said. “Some have remained good friends as was represented by their attendance on Sunday.”
On the eve of Siegfried’s trial sermon and congregational vote to become the pastor of Jordan, the congregation held a meet and greet.
“It was a time to meet members in an informal gathering,” she said.
“There was a brief storm during the meet and greet. After the storm, people were running to the windows, where a bold double rainbow had showed up in the sky.
“The excitement level had already been high, but with the sighting of the rainbow, the excitement doubled.
“Many saw it as a sign from God that together we would be blessed! And blessed I am to be called to serve God’s people of Jordan Lutheran Church.”
Siegfried invites community members to worship at Jordan Lutheran Church 8 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Sundays and/or Sunday School at 9:15 a.m.
Siegfried and her husband Jim Sr. live in Andreas, Schuylkill County.
They are the parents of a blended family with three children each: Joel Freed, along with wife Megan; Shawn Freed, along with wife Pam; Krystle Erdie and husband Damien; Jim Jr. and wife Carla; Lisa Bowman and husband Jeff, and Jen Nicolas.
They are the proud grandparents of 10 grandchildren: Bristol and Colby Freed; Kassidy and Nadia Erdie; Brittany and Codie Bentley; Ryan and Brendan Bowman; Nate Siegfried and Trevor Casterlin.