Lake Fellows Class of 2017

Chelsea Benham

Spring 2017 Letter from Chelsea:

I have no memory of my baptism, but I know that I was baptized as a baby in the Presbyterian church where I grew up. Those gathered that day promised to guide and nurture me in the faith. I could not tell you who was there that day, yet as I grew up they showed me the love of God. I left for college and moved away. Th en the promises they made on behalf of the whole church were fulfilled by other faithful servants and churches in Georgia, California, Kentucky and, now, Indiana.

On that day when I was baptized, no one could have known that one day I would be here, serving among you all. You live out your baptismal commitment in a multitude of ways here at Second, including through the Lake Fellow program. You teach, nurture, and guide new ministers in their calling and their faith. I am grateful that you have joined the baptismal story of God’s grace in my life. As we have journeyed together, you have taught me about discipleship. You have shared your faith with me in hospital rooms, around dinner tables, and even in the hallway. You have listened to my sermons and worshiped with me. You warmly welcomed my daughter when she was born last spring. In all the experiences of the last two years, I have been shaped as a minister. As I look back, I feel the blessing of the baptismal river washing over me and the warmth of the promise that I am claimed as God’s beloved child.

It is that river which carries me forward to my next call. This summer I will begin serving as Associate Pastor of Irvington Presbyterian Church here in Indianapolis. It is a blessing to continue to be a part of Whitewater Valley Presbytery with you. As I end my time here, I can’t say it enough: thank you for embodying God’s love to me. Thank you for the great gift this has been to me, my family, and my ministry. I will keep you in my prayers and thank God every time I remember you. I pray that God will bless you all as you continue to be a teaching church, living into the baptismal call to build one another up in love and faith.

Thanks be to God,
Chelsea

Chelsea was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2010, she earned a degree in religious studies from Agnes Scott College, a women’s college in Decatur, Georgia. During her time there working with the Religious Life Office and organizing interfaith efforts on campus, Chelsea began to more concretely discern her call to pastoral ministry.

After college she moved to Davis, California, where she worked for two years in campus ministry at the Cal Aggie Christian Association. She served as the Community Coordinator and facilitated the ministry’s Multifaith Living Community, a townhouse complex of forty students from a variety of faith backgrounds.

After being so far away from family, Chelsea decided to move closer to home and to attend Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She has worked with youth and children at a church in Louisville for the past two years and has discovered her love of educational ministry. During seminary, Chelsea completed a dual degree, earning a Master of Arts in Spirituality from Bellarmine University, which sparked a deep interest in connecting spirituality, theology, and the experiences of everyday life.

She is grateful to have had many other enriching ministry experiences while at LPTS, including CPE at University of Louisville Hospital, traveling to Cuba for a dual class with students at the seminary in Matanzas, and completing creative class projects, such as reading children’s literature and leading gardening sessions with kids to learn about God’s creation together.

Chelsea lives with her husband Blake, a Hoosier, and their cat, Purrcy, who is really more like a dog. Gardening is one of her favorite spiritual practices, and she is fascinated by plants. Chelsea enjoys hiking, camping, reading, cooking, and playing board games.

Jon Reinink

Spring 2017 Letter from Jon:

Several weeks ago, I found myself sitting in the atrium by the coffee bar, working on a few things while the incoming Lake Fellow Candidates rotated through their 20-minute interviews. I couldn’t help but laugh a little as it seemed to have come full-circle. In August of 2014, I sat in that exact chair, with my laptop on the table, drinking coffee, greeting those of you who happened upon my being there, and waiting for my work visa clearance. In the years that followed, I stand in awe, thanksgiving, and appreciation for what has happened and how you’ve impacted my life.

Personally, spiritually, and professionally, this congregation has provided a home for me in my time here. You’ve cared for my well-being, helped me move, found furniture for me, shared meals with me, and made sure I had a home to celebrate holidays in. You’ve encouraged my spiritual growth, challenged my theological assumptions, listened to my challenges of your spiritual practices, and explored Scripture with me. You accepted me as your pastor, fine-tuned my preaching, requested prayers and pastoral care with me, heard my teachings, and participated in ministry with me. Oh - and you were patient with my immigration! I emerge from Second a better pastor, a stronger presbyter, and a humble servant of the Kingdom of God.

I am excited for what lies ahead in my ministry with the Presbyterian Mission Agency, but also for what is on the horizon for Second Presbyterian Church. I pray that God would bless you with endurance and strength during transition, with grace and love for one another and the staff , with wisdom and discernment as you continue to explore what God is calling you to be for your families, this community, and this country.

With deepest gratitude,
Jon

Jonathan (Jon) Reinink grew up in Auburn, Ontario, Canada on a farm with his parents and three little sisters. Upon graduating from high school, he moved to Redeemer University College in Hamilton, Ontario to pursue a teaching career. Through summers on staff at a local Christian camp, Jon felt a call away from teaching mathematics and French and toward a different calling: full-time ministry.

He spent two years prior to his theological training involved in various ministries and discovering his passions. Jon brings a broad range of passions and experiences to his role at Second Church. His favorite ministry experiences include urban and low-income family ministry, short-term mission coordination and missionary training, summer camp ministry, confirmation class, and Christian education opportunities for adults.

Jon has been working with a church in Newtown, PA for the past three years where he has been fine-tuning his ministry skills in various areas of Christian education and pastoral care. Newly-ordained, and recently-graduated, Jon is excited to join in ministry with Second Church and develop his skills for ministry in new ways. In addition to being passionate about the Church and being attentive to new ways that God is moving in the world, Jon enjoys board games, visiting his nieces and nephew, evenings with friends, books in cafés, and traveling to see and experience the incredible cultures and landscapes God has placed in this world.