I spend most of my time in the great state of WI serving up smiling burgers at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, but lately I have branched out to Chicago, to start seminary in Hyde Park at Lutheran School of Theology.
My name is Alex LaChapelle and I am proud to be part of the 99 Collective. For me, the story starts long ago in church and growing up surrounded by families and friends. As I got older that seemed to change, and now at 26 when I go to church, I feel like I am the only one my age. For so many people the question that arises from that is, “why did you stay in the ELCA?” For me, I came to the ELCA recently and intentionally, with hope and expectations for a better experience. I would not say I have been let down, but I see now that we are far off from the party I expected when I arrived.
I grew up in conservative private Christian schools my entire life, kindergarten through undergrad. I think because of that, I have learned how to politely be bored in church, or to find the good out of being excited a part of the time, or walking away saying, “well, at least I got communion.” I want to get super excited about going to church because of all the people my age I’m going to see, and talking about real issues at work and either having people agree with passion to jump in, to care, and to get involved in the work we have to do. Instead, I find so much apathy no one will look me in the eyes and a painful mentality of ‘leaving it to the next group’. I refuse to leave to the next group what I can do myself. I refuse to let us leave to the next group what we can stop ourselves. So, following a favorite verse of instruction in Micah 6 to, “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly,” it’s time to get to work!