St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church is excited to welcome their new associate pastor, Reverend Katherine “Katie” Chatelaine-Samsen. Rev. Chatelaine-Samsen has been called to serve as Pastor of Mission and Outreach, a role that is shared with First Trinity Lutheran Church in Judiciary Square. She joins Reverend Phillip Huber in service with St. Matthew’s.

A native of Minnesota, Rev. Chatelaine-Samsen has lived in the DC area for the past six years. Her ministry experience includes serving as Vicar at Christ Lutheran Church (Washington, DC), Worship Assistant at Holden Village (a Lutheran retreat center in the North Cascade Mountains), and as a seminary intern with the Princeton University Office of Religious Life. She also brings a background in nonprofit fund development and has served with a number of DC-area nonprofits in this capacity.

Rev. Chatelaine-Samsen holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ and completed additional coursework at Gettysburg Seminary in Gettysburg, PA. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Political Science from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Rev. Chatelaine-Samsen was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament on Sept. 6, 2018.

Q: What excites you about your call to St. Matthew’s?

There’s a lot of great energy right now among the members of St. Matthew’s. We’re getting ready to open our new building by the end of this year and are looking forward to expanding our connection with the Southwest community with the resources it will provide. Additionally, we’re exploring ways to continue to partner in mission and ministry with our sister congregation, First Trinity in Judiciary Square, and are developing different models for how we can “be church” together. My call as Pastor of Mission and Outreach means that I will be spending a lot of time in the neighborhood, connecting with residents and developing ways for the congregation to build relationships with and serve our neighbors—Jesus’ ministry was very relational and included building communities, and I think that’s what we’re called to do as a church.

Q: What is your hope for St. Matthew’s?

I hope that St. Matthew’s can be a convening space for the Southwest community. We have lots of great meeting spaces, a coffee shop/café called Sacred Grounds Café, a flexible worship space that can be used for concerts and theater, a hostel, facilities for an emergency shelter and more. We’re really blessed with our new building and want to use it in a way that helps to foster connection and community among our neighbors.

Q: What is your hope for the Southwest Community?

As I’ve been getting to know Southwest, I’ve noticed both the rapid pace of development and change, as well as pockets of long-standing connected communities. I hope that Southwest is a place where a strong sense of community remains, even in the midst of change, and that it serves as a model for other rapidly changing areas of the city in regards to its sense of community, welcome and inclusion.

Q: What do you want Southwest residents to know about you?

I enjoy spending time outside, whether it’s running, hiking, biking, walking or simply enjoying a cup of coffee at an outdoor cafe. I also enjoy getting to know new people and neighborhoods in DC, and especially look forward to connecting with the Southwest community.

By Judson James

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