ST. ANDREW'S SIGNPOST
The Rev. Linda Mayer, Vicar
Linda Cox, Bishop's Warden
Bob Beeson, People's Warden
• Important Notice—Linda Mayer has retired from the Regional Development Committee for the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane. She will no longer hold the title of Canon for the Northwest region and will now be the Reverend Linda Mayer.
• NW Regional Gathering—Thank you Ed and Judy for attending the Northwest Gathering and participating in their small groups. It will be exciting to see their recommendations for St. Andrews!
• Reverend Patton Boyle—The Rev. Patton Boyle has written another book. Information can be found on his website: www.spiritsteachings.com
Young Pastoral Intern Shares his Gifts and Talents with Two Local Churches
A hopeful story for the Easter season
Dane Breslin '22 M.Div.
(CHELAN, WA) For 30-year-old Dane Breslin ’22 M.Div., a circuitous career path of serving others and preserving the land has led him to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Parish and Lake Chelan Lutheran Church. But there have been many intervening steps in his complex journey to Washington state and the Chelan Valley.
Born into a Roman Catholic family in Riverside, California, Breslin was active in youth ministry throughout high school. Upon graduation, he attended Gonzaga University, a Jesuit institution in Spokane. While there, he met his future wife, Kirsten. Breslin subsequently earned an undergraduate degree in environmental studies and public relations.
“I was always really fascinated by priests at Gonzaga and very drawn to church in general,” Breslin says. “However, I knew that I wanted to be married and have kids. I liked what priests were doing—walking with people, blessing them, identifying really dynamic parts of their lives—but I also thought, ‘This doesn’t make sense for me.’ At that time, I didn’t even know what a pastor was and had never been to a Protestant church.”
It was also at Gonzaga that his theological outlook expanded.
“In college I encountered the Jesuits,” Breslin says. “I remember being charged by one of the priests to find God in all things and that opened my world. I’m also deeply passionate about food systems and farming and sustainability of the land. I took a lot of environmental ethics courses plus an Old Testament and Eco-Justice course that blew my mind. That class got me into the environmental/sustainability realm—the Old Testament.”
During college, Breslin spent a year as a Jesuit volunteer in Hillsboro, Oregon, doing stream restoration with middle and high school students.
It was interesting work, Breslin says, but it also raised a significant amount of spiritual conflict. He had difficulty reconciling what he was learning through his work and studies with the theological traditions of his Catholic upbringing. There was also an internal dissonance that caused confusion of his future goals.
He ended up taking a “church sabbatical” to give himself time to process his experiences and reflect on his faith. Little did he know his time away from church would eventually lead him to a call to full-time ministry.
One evening during his break from church services, Breslin wandered into Calvary Lutheran Church down the street from his home in Hillsboro.
“It was an ELCA (Lutheran) church, and they were having an Agape supper,” Breslin says, recalling a communal meal modeled after the occasions Jesus shared with his disciples. “I had never experienced anything like that, with people talking about their spirituality so openly.”
This became another turning point for Breslin—a moment that expanded his theological and spiritual horizons. He attended the suppers every Wednesday evening for the rest of Lent, although he says he didn’t go back to “church-church” for another year or two.
After his undergraduate college commencement, Breslin embarked on a number of jobs. He spent time in rural Zambia on the African continent serving as a cook for a group of 25 college students studying biology. Later, he worked as an apprentice stonemason in the Kansas countryside. (Article continued on next page)
He also continued his ecology studies and became a certified permaculture designer, which prompted him to found a small educational farm to teach sustainability principles. “I started my farm, which failed fantastically,” Breslin says. But along the way, he used his experiences and connected with Nativity Lutheran Church, which runs a permaculture food-forest ministry just down the street from his in-laws in Bend, Oregon. It was this serendipitous connection that led him to discern a call to the ordained ministry.
“I was unemployed and wondering what to do next,” he says, reflecting on a time when he took a walk with Nativity Lutheran’s pastor, Chris Kramer, to discuss Breslin’s future. Kramer told him, “I think you should consider working with us.”
Breslin took a position as the co-director of the Bend Youth Collective, a progressive, ecumenical youth ministry focused on “belonging in community, becoming more whole, and participating in the peacemaking way of Jesus.” The collective was sponsored and supported by four different Bend denominations and churches.
During that work, Breslin says the church community and leaders “...kind of lifted me and said, ‘We think you should be a leader in the ecumenical church and go to seminary.’”
It’s fitting that Breslin’s story is so wrapped in environmental sustainability and he found his way to Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota where he was awarded the Jubilee Scholarship. The Jubilee assistance program is based on financial sustainability and takes its name from the biblical practice of economic justice through the restoration of land.
In the fall of 2020, Breslin was assigned by Luther Seminary to Lake Chelan Lutheran Church along with preaching duties at St. Andrew’s. But because of the Covid-19 shutdown, his work has been far different than what he expected.
“We are so blessed and pleased to have Dane in our midst,” The Rev. Linda Mayer of St. Andrew’s said. “He offers a youthful perspective and a genuine sense of wonder. He is also learning the rich faith traditions of the Episcopal Church through his ecumenical service.”
After his long and winding path of exploration, study, and service, Breslin feels hopeful about his vocation. “I am on the road to becoming an ordained Lutheran pastor and one Sunday every other month I preach and worship with the St. Andrew’s parish in Chelan,” he says.
“There’s something really beautiful about being able to mark people’s lives, to name their essential worth and goodness and dignity, and to back that up with a 2,000-year-old tradition.”
Sidebar: (Sustainability. The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level with the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources or land in order to maintain an ecological balance.)
Submitted by Terry LaBrue, APR; Kelly O'Hara Dyer also contributed to this article.
"At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness, to teach us to heed Him.
Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him . . .
Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut.
Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God?
Then remain quiet . . .
When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light."
Devotional Thoughts from Oswald Chambers – best known for his writing, "My utmost for His Highest".
Norm and Linda Kuntz—31