Tumbling in the Sand
Name: Lena Warren
Passions: Messy, earthy, Christian spirituality. Theology. Gardening. A good gin. Games. Justice, mercy, reconciliation and reformation. Jesus.
About me: I’m the pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River, NY. It’s a great community to serve full of remarkable people and I’m glad to be here. We’ve weathered a few incredible things together even as we continue to navigate in a post-pandemic world.
I love theology and have an S.T.M. from Yale Divinity School and an M.Div. from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. For my S.T.M., I specialized in body theology and my thesis attempted the constructive work of articulating an eschatology that valued materiality rather than denying the importance of this world and the sacredness of our current, fleshy, real bodies. In other words, I think God cares about our bodies—broken, messy, and frustrating as they can be; and, I think that when God makes the world right, our bodies and all of dusty creation will be a part of that right-making. I’m not interested in spirituality that is separate from the world around me.
Besides theology, I also love agriculture and sustainable development and picked up an M.S. in Plant and Soil Sciences from The University of Tennessee. I worked on the hydroponic production of Silybum marianum (milk thistle) as a medicinally useful plant. (It’s good for your liver—really) I also messed around with a bioassay to evaluate the usefulness of S. marianum extracts on controlling tumor growth. On the side, I became an expert in autoclaved potatoes and cockroach cryogenics, but that’s another story. Oh, and I grew and helped to grow a WHOLE LOT of tomatoes. Amazingly, I still love tomatoes.
Besides all this education (which includes a B.S. in Environmental Science from Newberry College), I’m really just a normal 40-something trying to figure out life and love and faith and grace. I’m married to an awesome guy, Lee, who keeps me laughing. I have fabulous friends who keep me real and who I love very much. I have two beautiful cats named Hildegaard and Marcella Maple Syrup.
Oh, and I’m full of strange juxtapositions and contradictions: I’m certainly a feminist, but I didn’t keep my last name when I got married. I’m a post-post modern thinker with maddeningly modern tendencies. I think a whole lot about injustice in the world but I still spend way too long in the shower and cannot for the life of me give up bananas. Though, I’ve given up meat (mostly), so maybe that’s progress … And I try so, so hard to trust in grace but find myself worried about if I’m good enough almost every day.