New pastor takes flight | Guest column
December 19, 2011 · Updated 1:25 PM
By Rita Larom
Jan Sunquist describes Pastor Anne Hall as an early Christmas present.
Hall recently accepted a two-year term call as the new “flying pastor” serving three branches by boat, or by plane — on three islands, all existing as the Lutheran Church in the San Juans.
She is “energetic and skilled,” said Sunquist, council president of the Lutheran Church.
Hall recently moved to Lopez as a full-time resident, but has visited the islands since 1975. Her first official sermons were delivered Nov. 27.
Growing up in a suburb of New York City, Hall graduated from Radcliff College and has a Masters Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She met her spouse, David Hall, a Seattle native, while at Harvard and became a Washington state resident shortly thereafter.
Hall was a school counselor, an administrator, and a teacher of pre-school through college level students. While searching for a church for the family, she became involved with a small American Baptist Church that was assisting refugees. Her volunteer activities evolved into office responsibilities and worship planning when the pastor was away.
“It felt totally right,” she said.
She then pursued theological studies and earned a Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion. Hall was ordained by the American Baptist Church in 1993. Following a co-pastor position at University Baptist Church that she held until 2003, she sought a part-time pastoral position and, after a course of study, became rostered in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She served at University Lutheran Church for the past eight years.
“The pastor asks us about our spiritual journeys and joins with us in that discovery,” said Sharron Kick, a Friday Harbor parishioner. “She is bright and engaging and I believe she will encourage and challenge us.”
Hall’s goal is to empower people to find their own vision and pursue it.
“I am passionately committed to social justice and in engaging the church as an instrument for justice,” she said.
Dr. David Hall, the pastor’s husband, is a psychiatrist with a practice in Anacortes working with children, adolescents and their families. The couple has two sons and two grandsons.
Hall is an avid reader, hiker and boater and is “just learning to garden,” she confesses. A new greenhouse for her yard awaits construction.
During advent, services are held every Sunday on each island and on Wednesday evening in Friday Harbor. Hall will preside at 11 p.m. at a joint Christmas Eve service with Grace Episcopal Church at Lopez Center Church.