Sonja Ingebritsen was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and lived in Seattle for many years before coming to PSR. She grew up in the Lutheran Church, attended Pacific Lutheran University, and worked in a volunteer program of the Lutheran Church as a young adult. After that she worked for various human service agencies in Seattle, providing direct client services to seniors and low-income populations as well as doing administrative work in that field. She was a member of the United Methodist Church for a dozen years before joining the United Church of Christ in 2004.
“I was getting a lot of nudges to go to seminary and do ministry, but I kept resisting,” she says. “It only took me 30 years say Yes to the call!” One of the things she most appreciates about PSR is what she calls “the invitation to lean into your growing edges.” By this she is referring to experience both inside and outside of the classroom. “In courses, there has been an invitation to look beyond what has been the normative white European way of looking at the world. Even though the courses are still heavily skewed in that direction, and I think PSR has some growing to do here, there is still a challenge to look beyond that vision.”
Outside of the classroom, she is referring to contextual education and immersion experience requirements. “These courses are an invitation for us to ask: Where is it that we need to grow, where is it that we need to put ourselves to be challenged, even uncomfortable, and see what we find there?” Her immersion experience last January at City of Refuge United Church of Christ in San Francisco was especially meaningful. “I believe that experience will inform the rest of what I do here, in terms of looking at what the Gospel means, where the center is and where the margins are, and what it means to be present with people who have been marginalized in society and from the church.”
photography by Hilary Marckx