Meet the ELCA Missionaries whom we sponsor
The Rev. Michael G. Fonner and Leslie Weed-Fonner
Michael serves as pastor of International Lutheran Congregation, a congregation of the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Nairobi, a companion of the ELCA. Leslie works with the Pangani Lutheran Children’s Center, a ministry for orphaned girls and girls in need. Together, they work with the congregation’s HIV/AIDS program, nursery school, knitting and sewing schools, all programs that serve the local community.
Companion Synod: Allegheny Synod (8C)
Home-base States: Vermont, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Tennessee
BA Religion, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
MDiv Pastoral Ministry, Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
ThD Comparative Religion, Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
BS Dental Hygiene, Columbia University, New York, NY
MEd Psycho-Educ Processes, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
MSW Clinical Social Work, Hunter College School of S. W., New York, New York
Hobbies: Reading, sports, fly-fishing, time with family, travel, time in nature, music
Additional information: Leslie and Michael have served as ELCA missionaries in Asia and have each lived in various countries in Asia over a period of more than 10 years. They have 3 adult children living in Philadelphia, Kingsport TN, and Washington DC, two of whom were married in the last 2 years.
The Rev. Miriam Schmidt and Jeremy Blyth
Miriam serves as the pastor of the Bratislava International Church and coordinator for the Young Adults in Global Mission Program in Central Europe. Jeremy serves as associate to this role.
Companion Synods: Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod (7F), Slovak Zion Synod (7G), Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod (8G)
Home-base States: New York, Montana, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota
B.A. Philosophy/Greek, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
M.Div., Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA
B.A. International Relations/Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Hobbies: Mountaineering, rock & ice climbing, cooking, reading, camping
Additional Information: Jeremy and Miriam enjoy welcoming people into their home and gathering them around the table for meals. They like mountains anywhere. Home for them has been many places, some of which are NYC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Montana, Taos NM, Holden Village, Washington, Guyana.
The Rev. Kate Warn
Kate serves as Country Coordinator for the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) in Rwanda. Working in partnership with the Lutheran Church in Rwanda, she will oversee placement of young adults for a year of service in Rwanda, coordinate orientation and retreats, and walk with the young adults in their learning and living.
Kate’s Ordination date: November 2
Companion Synod: Sierra Pacific Synod (2A)
Home-base States: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas
B.A. History, Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH
M.A., Social Work, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
M.Div., Theology/Pastoral Studies, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), Chicago, IL
Hobbies: Gardening, hiking, biking, baking
Additional Information: Kate has served as an ELCA missionary in Sierra Leone and as a pastor in Pennsylvania and Texas.