calendar May 10, 2014 in 2014 Assembly, Assembly, Vocations and Leadership

Assembly Congratulates Newly Approved Candidates

The Assembly congratulated six new candidates for call on their approvals..

Those called to be rostered leaders of our church begin their journey in local congregations where fellow members and the called leaders of the congregation nurture them. These future leaders then formally enter the Candidacy Process through the Synod. Guided by seminary faculty and staff and the Candidacy Committee, a candidate comes to serve as an Associate in Ministry (A.I. M.) a Diaconal Minister, a Deaconess or an Ordained Pastor.  Three major steps comprise the candidacy process:  Entrance, Endorsement, and Approval.


Ashley Beth Rossi

Ashley was raised up as a candidate for ordained ministry in the ELCA by the congregation of St. Peter’s in Lafayette Hills, PA.  She completed her internship year at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Glenside and graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia with her Master of Divinity in 2013.

Ashley received and accepted a call to Redeemer Lutheran Church in the Upper Susquehanna Synod. She was ordained on March 29, 2014


Kyle Russell Crouthamel

Russell was lifted up by the congregation of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Souderton. He attended Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Religion/Religious Studies. Russ realized that God was calling him to the ministry of Word and Sacrament when he had an experience in college which he describes as “the Holy Spirit slapped me upside the head one night.”

On internship, he served Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Sidney, Ohio. Russ will receive his MDiv from Trinity Seminary, Columbus, OH this spring.  Russ has been assigned to the Western Iowa Synod, where he is looking forward to doing ministry and serving the church.


Karen Beth Kelly

Karen Kelly was a member of St John Lutheran Church, Center Square for the first 40 years of her life where the seeds of her faith were sewn and nourished.  Karen received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Gwynedd-Mercy College in Gwynedd, PA.  It was the congregation of St. John, Richlandtown along with their pastor (and Karen’s husband), Rev. Bernie Kelly, that lifted Karen up as a candidate for consecration in Diaconal Ministry. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts in Religion from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

During her Clinical Pastoral Education training, Karen found the affirmation of her call to word and service in the hospice setting.  Karen feels it is a privilege and honor to be invited into the sacred space of the dying and to bring comfort to the grieving.

Karen and her husband live in Ocean City, NJ and are members of Messiah Lutheran, in Ocean view, NJ where Rev. Kelly is pastor. Currently Karen is working as a chaplain for AtlantiCare Hospice. She is looking forward to being consecrated as a Diaconal Minister in the New Jersey Synod in the near future.


Laura Marie Tancredi

Laura grew up in Lansdale, PA, and is a life-long member of Advent Lutheran, Harleysville. Laura’s sense of call first began in high school, when she attended the Theological Education with Youth Summer Programs which helped to spark an interest in social justice issues.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the College of William and Mary in Virginia then enrolled in the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia from which she will graduate in May. Laura’s passion for social justice was strengthened through college and seminary, and she is also excited about ecumenical and collaborative opportunities for ministry.

At seminary, she met her fiancé, Pastor Timothy Ness of St. Mark Lutheran in Clifton Heights. Laura and Tim will be married in June. Laura is awaiting her first call here in Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod.


Karen Marie Sease

Karen grew up in Columbia, SC as a lifelong member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church.  Karen enrolled at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia from which she will graduate later in May with an MDiv.

Karen has discovered her passions for ministry include:

  • Liturgical hospitality to those who grew up in other  settings
  • Building a sense of community and learning to be together as people of God in all of our diversity of demographics, ideology, and life experiences
  • Strategic planning to assess where God has brought us and is leading us
  • Education so that doctrine, theology, and exegesis are made accessible

Karen is looking forward to her first call in our synod


Axel Thomas Kaegler

Axel grew up in Upper Saddle River, NJ. He was lifted up for Ordained Ministry by his home congregation was Zion Lutheran Church in Saddle River.  He started to discern a call to ordained ministry towards the end of his time at Gettysburg College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History.  He began to pursue candidacy early during his time at Princeton Theological Seminary form which he graduated in 2011 with a Master of Divinity in Theology. Since then, he enrolled in Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia where he will graduate later this month with a Master of Sacred Theology in Lutheran Studies.

During his seminary time, he has engaged most deeply with theology, preaching, and community building.  He and his fiancée Karen Sease are looking forward to beginning their careers in ministry with SEPA.

— Irma Kelly