Reflecting on Pastor Annie’s Impact on Campus

Rev+Anne+Edison+Albright+at+Luther+College%E2%80%99s+first+year+move+in+%28Sept+29%2C+2020%29.+Photo+courtesy+of+Photo+Bureau

Rev Anne Edison Albright at Luther College’s first year move in (Sept 29, 2020). Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau

After four years of pastoral service to the Luther College community, Reverend Anne Edison-Albright is moving on to become bishop of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin, a role she will begin on January 9, 2021. 

  Rev. Edison-Albright, also known as Pastor Annie, began working at Luther College in 2016. After Pastor Mike Blair left in 2019, she stepped into the role of Director of Campus Ministries and Campus Pastor. 

“I learned a great deal from my time working with my colleague, Pastor Mike Blair, especially about staying grounded and faithful in the midst of storms,” Edison-Albright said.

  According to President Dr. Jennifer K. Ward, Edison-Albright has been dedicated to justice and accessibility. President Ward shared her thoughts on Edison-Albright’s moving on.  

“It’s not at all surprising to me that she was chosen to be bishop,” Ward said. “As I’ve said to a lot of people, the good news for us is that, sorry as we are to see her go, this is evidence that Luther College grows good leaders. That’s all to the good.”

  Edison-Albright has spent her time as Luther’s pastor as a valuable ally to organizations like Norse Against Sexual Assault, the Thursdays in Black movement, Luther Pride, as well as the Luther Community’s role in creating a world of inclusion and equity

  Many students list her weekly “Tea with Pastor Annie,” as some of their most cherished memories with her. This year, held on Zoom, she would meet with students where there was space for conversation. Elise Carlson (‘21) described the ways that she has learned from Edison-Albright.

“I think Pastor Anne has shown me the power of pausing and being truly intentional in what you do,” Carlson said. “When you talk to her, she’s someone who really listens and then responds with her whole heart. And I think that’s something she really brings to her ministry and that shows in every part of her.”

  Edison-Albright’s support and care for others has profoundly impacted countless students, such as Alex Smith (‘22).

  “She comes within a person’s radius [and] automatically people just light up,” Smith said. “They become a lot more open, a lot more comfortable and happy. I don’t think a lot of people can really do that.”

  On October 30, a chapel service will be held to honor and send off Rev. Anne Edison-Albright to her new calling. Speakers include President Ward, Pastor Amy Zalk Larson, and Abby Trewin (‘21). Just as the campus community will reflect on her impact, Pastor Annie reflects on the impact that Luther College community has had on her. 

“I knew from the conversations I’d had with Luther students that this would be a place where students would be thoughtfully and creatively engaged in ministry alongside the College Ministries staff,” Edison-Albright said.

 As the Luther Community says goodbye, Pastor Annie sends a parting message and prayer for Luther College students and staff.

  “I would want to leave the Luther community with the essence of the two blessings I learned here, will always carry in my heart, and love best (paraphrased from Hafiz and Jan Richardson): never forget that light of your being is astonishing,” Edison-Albright said. “Always begin each journey, each day, with who you are: beloved.” 

Rev. Anne Edison-Albright preaching during the All Saints Jazz Liturgy.
Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau
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