The Rev. Christopher Mietlowski
Current Position: Pastor
Congregation Membership: Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church
Date and Year of Birth: 9/22/58
Date and Year of Ordination: 6/19/94
Pastor, Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church, Dobbs Ferry NY
Pastor, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Easton, PA
Co-owner, R. Bird & Co. (graphic design), White Plains, NY
Education and Earned Degrees (with institutions and years, most recent first):
Master of Divinity, The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA 1991-1994
Bachelor of Fine Arts, SUNY Buffalo, NY. 1978-80
Associate, Advertising and Design, Mohawk Valley, NY 1976-1978
List up to five (5) current or past synod or churchwide activities that would inform your service as bishop of this synod.
Synod Council, 2016 to current
Synod Candidacy Committee, 2 terms
Assistant Director, Pinecrest Lutheran Leadership School
Board member, Evangelical Lutheran Education Association
Diakonia pastoral advisor (in Dobbs Ferry and GA)
Assistant to the Bishop, Communication, with Bishop Steve Bouman
List up to five (5) current or past community-related activities that would inform your service as bishop of this synod.
Executive Director, Open Arms Preschool
Volunteer Fire Chaplain, Dobbs Ferry Fire Dept., NY
Volunteer Clergy Liaison, 13th Precinct, NYPD
Community liaison, Children's Village (residence for troubled youth), Dobbs Ferry, NY
What gifts would you bring to the office of bishop of this synod? (1,000 characters maximum, with spaces)
I have passionate faith and trust in the Risen Christ and God's ability to continually transform communities. And a strong relational ability with a deep desire to serve the whole territory. I'm a collegial leader who loves building community and encouraging, equipping lay leaders to take on roles and responsibilities while sharing authority. I have fostered many strong partnerships with those in the church and beyond. I deeply enjoy teaching Growing in Faith (Diakonia). I'm blessed with the Spirit's gifts of immense joy and hope. I'm willing to try new models, with the possibility of not succeeding. And then try again, to the glory of God. I have a love for people and letting them be exactly who God created them to be.
What do you see as the principal challenge to this synod in the next six (6) years, and how would you address it? (1,000 characters maximum, with spaces)
Our challenges are not new to the whole synod; many struggle with institutional dysfunction, systemic racism, homophobic and anti-immigrant behaviors, and uncertainty. What we’ve been trying is, for the most part, not working. The One who makes a way where there is no way. A daily dying and rising means letting go of that which is familiar, trusting Jesus to move us forward in new ways. Though we have different perspectives, ministry settings, and ways we identify ourselves, it’s God’s love that unites us. This is a time to gather a wide variety of passionate voices within and outside the church to ask: “What is God asking us to do and become?” This is the time for Spirit-led innovation, transformation, launching new projects, reframing partnerships within regions, and remembering the One who is sends us promises to be with us also promises to “make all things new.”
Describe your leadership style. (1,000 characters maximum, with spaces)
I have a collegial style and trust in other leaders' abilities, appreciating a wide variety of talents, inviting them to boldly serve Jesus. I have been able to build bridges in fractured communities and inspire joy. As a former business person, I have the experience with finances, strategic thinking, sitting with high-level executives to help direct innovation. As someone who has pastored in both an urban and suburban setting as well as serving on synod staff.