Ascension Lutheran's new pastor Katrina Vigen (centre) recently moved to Nelson with her husband Ryan Smart and her 4-year-old son Emil.

Ascension Lutheran welcomes Katrina Vigen

New pastor is currently operating without a home base church, is looking to expand her ministry.

The congregation of Ascension Lutheran Church has been temporarily worshipping in Rosemont Elementary while their new location is being constructed. In the meantime new pastor Katrina Vigen routinely meets her parishioners in unorthodox locations, including the shopping mall food court.

“I’ve been having some office hours in my home, and some out in the community. For me it’s important to spend time out in the community and be accessible to my parishioners,” Vigen told the Star.

She said anyone in her congregation can make an appointment to “drop in and hang out,” and to talk about how best to serve the needs of Nelson.

“Our congregation is passionate about caring for our neighbours in Rosemont and we hope within the next six months to be in our building and offering quite a few more services.”

That means they’ll have women and men’s showers, laundry facilities and community meals.

“We hope to be a space where we can provide for more people in our community and take part in more activities. Part of my role is shepherding that, encouraging people to share their gifts with their neighbours and finding more ways to serve our city and our world. That means we’re literally clothing, feeding and loving our neighbours as best we can.”

Vigen’s roots with the Lutheran church go back generations and she comes from a line of ministers. She grew up with her missionary parents in Madagascar.

“When you grow up in one of the poorest countries in the world, you get a real sense of how much responsibility we have, especially those of us who have more privileges and are rich in so many ways people in Madagascar are not.”

She knew growing up she wanted to be part of the solution, after witnessing people still suffering from the plague and leprosy. And now that she’s seen the power Christianity can have in places like China, she feels she has a responsibility to do her part here in Canada.

“Even though Christianity is a minority religion in China, if you look you’ll see the church provides most of the social services the government doesn’t provide.”

Vigen, who has previously worked in the United States, said she’s been impressed with the resolve shown by Ascension’s members and feels welcomed by the community. She recently joined the congregation with her husband Ryan Smart and four-year-old son Emil.

“It speaks to how passionate they are about that kind of ministry. It shows that a church isn’t a building. That’s been proved for the last three years, because we’ve continued to play a large role in the community.”

They’ve looked into how they can help with the Syrian refugee crisis, they’re participating in Nelson’s Gay Pride events and they’ve been working with the street population.

“We believe the church is for all people,” Vigen said.

 

Just Posted

Nelson Reflections win at synchro provincials

Nelson’s synchronized swimming team triumphed at the Jean Peters Provincial Championship

Here we go again: Mamma Mia! set to open at the Capitol Theatre

The ABBA-inspired musical runs Thursday to Sunday

LETTERS: The other side of the Women’s Centre story

From readers Vita Luthmers and Hannah Hadikin

Nelson holds the line on property taxes

No increase this year thanks to deal with RDCK on park funding

West Kootenay opinion sought on health care issues

Rural Evidence Review getting strong response to survey call-out

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, B.C. lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

Most Read