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'Blessed, humbled, grateful'

November 1, 2016 In Lakeland University Blog
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As Emma Landowski scanned the nearly 200 familiar, friendly faces smiling up at her, warmth filled her heart.

“It could not have been a more supportive congregation,” says Landowski, a Lakeland University senior from Kewaskum. “I feel so blessed, humbled and grateful.”

Landowski, who is majoring in religion and non-profit management, led service twice this past Sunday morning at Immanuel United Church of Christ – the church she’s attended her whole life. Her role as guest pastor was connected to an internship she’s completing at the church.

“I always get very nervous before I preach, but I remind myself it’s not about me,” she says. “I’m letting the Lord speak through me, and once I start, it feels as though he is carrying me through, using me, reinforcing that this is what I am supposed to be doing. That makes me very happy.”

For as long as she can remember, Landowski has “felt a sense of ministry.” When she was about 9 years old, a former pastor at Immanuel UCC told her she would someday take his spot.

Asked how many members of the congregation she knew by name on Sunday morning, Landowski says, “Ninety percent, if not more. My grandma came, which was a wonderful surprise.”

Landowski will graduate from Lakeland in December. After a mission trip to India, she’ll enroll at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis in the spring to pursue her Master of Divinity degree.

“My dream is to become a parish minister for a congregation that has a passion for serving others,” Landowski says. “I’d like to lead mission trips to other countries. I want to help others. That’s my calling.”

When she reflects on her Lakeland experience, Landowski is thankful.

“Lakeland is just amazing,” she says. “I’m very blessed for all of the opportunities Lakeland has given me. The professors and my advisor, Karl Kuhn (LU professor of religion), have been there for me from the beginning.

“I am moving forward, but I will never forget the Lakeland community.”

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